Saturday, October 31, 2009

Disney Dream: Taking Family Cruises to New Heights

It wasn't so long ago when a colleague and I joked that the next new ship attraction would be a ferris wheel or a roller coaster. We weren't too off the mark as Disney Cruise Line has announced that their new Disney Dream will feature a first-of-its kind water coaster that sends guests racing above the upper decks of the ship. Other out-of-the-boat features include an animated turtle that engages children in conversation about life in the ocean and a sophisticated lounge where the sun sets over the skyline of a different world famous city each night. When the Disney Dream debuts in early 2011, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet will bring to life these innovations and more.

Disney Dream will take family cruising to all-new heights, embracing the spirit of innovation, magical family entertainment, and immersive experiences that have made Disney Cruise Line the favored cruise of choice for families since 1998. Disney Cruise Line revolutionized the family segment of the cruise industry with its purpose-built ships designed just for kids (of all ages) and, with Disney Dream setting sail on Jan. 26, 2011, preparations are underway to expand the one-of-a-kind family experience, utilizing technology to enhance the world-class entertainment and legendary guest services onboard. From stem to stern, Disney Dream will offer a cruise experience that caters to the preferences of the whole family.

Disney Dream will feature a remarkable interior design to provide guests with a warm and welcoming feel throughout. The ship's design offers a perfect blend of elegant Art Deco style and fun-filled Disney whimsy. Distinctly Disney features aboard the Disney Dream include:

AquaDuck Water Coaster. . .
Disney Cruise Line debuts a cruise-industry first: a shipboard water coaster ... AquaDuck! (pictured above). Guests aboard the Disney Dream will get swept away on an exhilarating high-speed flume ride featuring twists, turns, drops, uphill acceleration and river rapids, all while traversing the upper decks of the ship.
-- AquaDuck stretches 765 feet in length, more than two and a half times the length of a football field, and spans four decks in height
-- Guests slide 13 feet over the side of the ship in a translucent "swing out" loop allowing them to look down on the ocean 150 feet below
-- Guests experience coaster-like thrills as high-powered water jets push them upwards and forwards at 20 feet per second
-- AquaDuck continues through the forward funnel, encounters a 335 foot stretch of river rapids and splashes down to an end on Deck 12

A Virtual Porthole for Inside Staterooms. . .
Disney Cruise Line introduces another stateroom innovation with all inside staterooms on the Disney Dream featuring a Virtual Porthole that provides guests with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole. As guests observe the impressive outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters such as Peach the starfish from the Disney-Pixar hit film "Finding Nemo," or Mickey Mouse may pop by the Virtual Porthole.

A Magical Oasis for Children. . .
Only on a Disney Cruise Line ship can children become immersed in their favorite Disney stories with the help of caring counselors, beloved Disney characters, and a sprinkling of pixie dust. The celebration of children's creativity rises to a new level on Disney Dream with nearly an entire deck of youth spaces designed to inspire, entertain, and unlock the imagination of children. There are two main spaces for children ages three to 10.

At Disney's Oceaneer Club, children can:
-- Play among larger-than-life characters from Disney-Pixar's "Toy Story" in Andy's Room
-- Explore the Laugh Floor with lovable monsters Mike and Sully from "Monsters, Inc."
-- Dive under the sea with Nemo and friends or visit Tinker Bell's fairy forest

At Disney's Oceaneer Lab, children feel as though they are embarking on a great seafaring adventure in a room filled with maps, maritime instruments and swashbuckling artifacts. Children can try their hand at animation, become a pop star, or navigate ships through digital seas. Both venues offer magical interactions with the animated characters such as Crush, the sea turtle from the Disney-Pixar motion picture "Finding Nemo" and Stitch, the mischievous alien from "Lilo and Stitch." The characters chat, play, and joke with children in live, unrehearsed conversations from their digital undersea and intergalactic environments via 103-inch plasma screens.

Chill-Out Zones for Tweens and Teens. . .
Located inside the forward funnel is Edge, the lounge just for tweens (ages 11 to 13). This tween pad is filled with a multitude of hi-tech entertainment including the ability to create and star in photo postcards and video karaoke using green-screen technology.

Teens have their own exclusive club aboard Disney Dream with Vibe, a trendy and inviting indoor/outdoor space created especially for guests ages 14 to 17. A "teen-only" swipe card provides access to the nearly 9,000-square-foot club. Teens can create and edit videos, play computer games, access the onboard social media application or try their hand at spinning and mixing dance tracks. Teens have their own private outdoor deck area with chaise lounges for sunbathing, two wading pools, misters and pop jets for cooling off, and deck games such as ping-pong and foosball.

Personal Touches with Rotational Dining. . .
Disney Cruise Line continues its innovative rotational dining concept onboard Disney Dream with elaborately themed restaurants, distinctly Disney touches, and world-class cuisine to create a magical dining experience. Throughout the cruise, guests "rotate" through three different restaurants for dinner, with their servers accompanying them, providing guests with friendly, familiar, personalized service each night. The rotational dining restaurants include:
-- Animator's Palate, a signature Disney Cruise Line restaurant that brings the magic of Disney animation into the dining room for a unique experience that will captivate the entire family.
-- Royal Palace, an elegant restaurant inspired by the classic Disney films "Cinderella," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Sleeping Beauty."
-- Enchanted Garden, a whimsical, casual restaurant inspired by the gardens of Versailles and featuring a dining environment that magically transforms from day to night.

Just for Adults. . .
While children are having the time of their lives in the elaborately themed youth areas aboard Disney Dream, adults can look forward to incomparable indulgences and relaxation with exclusive areas and offerings designed exclusively for them.
-- Adults can escape into The District, a nighttime entertainment area on Disney Dream with five unique venues. This playground for grownups features sophisticated lounges, each with its own unique design, look, feel, and palate-pleasing delights.
-- Senses Spa & Salon offers adult tranquility with 17 private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas with indoor treatment rooms and private outdoor verandahs, and Rainforest, a special section of the spa offering the benefits of steam, heat, and hydrotherapy to relax the mind and body.
-- At Palo, adults find epicurean excellence and an unforgettable dinner experience at sea. Every seat offers beautiful ocean vistas while a pianist softly serenades diners in an intimate restaurant setting.

Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating 3- and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. During summer months, the ship will alternate 4- and 5-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay. Guests can book a Disney Dream cruise beginning Nov. 9, 2009. To learn more, visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500, or contact your travel agent.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Silversea To Offer Personalized "Suite Scents"

What's in a lifestyle? More small details than you might imagine.

Silversea has long recognized that authentic luxury is often simply a scent, a texture, an image or a taste that stirs the emotions and deepens one’s enjoyment of life, so it should not be surprising that some of the luxury innovations aboard their new ship Silver Spirit are subtle, almost elusive touches.

One such amenity you'll be pleased to learn about is a new option for guests to personalize their suite experience with a trio of scents created by renowned Italian perfumer Laura Tonatto. The fragrances are gently dispersed throughout the room by a reed diffuser placed in each suite, and of course, the service is complimentary.

Born in Turin, Laura Tonatto has a devoted following in Italy and is famous for developing scents inspired by literature. Her award-winning perfume Oltre, for example, gives a sense of the sea as being "oltre" or "beyond." It was inspired by Plutarch's essay, "On Contentment of the Mind." She has also reconstructed many ancient recipes for perfumes, including Syrian Water from the 1st century BCE. Among her personal clients are the King and Queen of Sweden.

The three suite scents available to Silversea guests are:
  • Oltre: Imagine yourself walking along a sandy shore, letting the natural scent of the boundless sea free your thoughts and shape your mood. Such a rich emotional atmosphere is captured by Laura Tonatto's Oltre, the standard aromatherapy fragrance featured in all suites.
  • Albi: Feeling stressed by the pace and pressures of daily life? Then you might opt to sample Albi, one of the alternative room scents that are also available. With its head note of lavender, Albi could be the perfect choice for a totally relaxing experience. Lavender has long been used in aromatherapy to ease exhaustion, irritability and even insomnia.
  • Fiori d'Arancio: Or maybe the sweet scent of orange blossoms is your personal favorite. The calming, soothing benefits of this flower are well known to aromatherapists. Laura Tonatto chose orange blossom as the head note for her fragrance Fiori d'Arancio, available as an alternative scent for your suite.
Whether it's Oltre, Albi or Fiori d'Arancio, the refreshing room scents are sure to make your voyage aboard Silver Spirit the ultimate sensory experience. Just let your butler know your preference. Laura Tonatto room scents will also be offered throughout the Silversea fleet starting in early 2010.

Learn more about Silversea Cruises and Silver Spirit on the Silver Spirit Blog.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Flying Beach Chairs Debut at Mahogany Beach Cruise Center in Roatan

A new elevated chair lift, which will offer an exhilarating round-trip transfer between the new Mahogany Bay Cruise Center in Roatan and beautiful Mahogany Beach, will debut in conjunction with the cruise facility’s grand opening next month.

Unique to the Caribbean, the “Magical Flying Beach Chair” will be the first chair lift that transports riders from a cruise ship terminal directly to the beach. The new beach chair lift will be one of the marquis features of the modern $62 million Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which will welcome its first cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend, on Friday, Nov 20.

Guests board the new beach chair lift system at the facility’s expansive Welcome Center and are dropped off directly on Mahogany Beach, a 10-acre private island featuring a gorgeous 825-foot-long white-sand beach replete with lounge chairs, floats, a beach volleyball court and myriad watersports opportunities. There are also eight exclusive cabanas for rent offering private beach access.

Modeled after a traditional ski lift and incorporating the latest technological advancements, the new “Magical Flying Beach Chair” takes cruise ship guests on an exciting, fun-filled six-minute ride across nearly 1,200 feet of cables suspended 67 feet above a lush canopy of trees. Accommodating four riders each, the galvanized steel beach lift chairs are available to cruise ship guests for a $5 fee which includes unlimited rides throughout the day. Chair lift passes are also included in pre-sold beach activity on board the cruise ships calling at the port. The chair-lift system has the capability of transporting up to 1,500 passengers per hour.

The “Magical Flying Beach Chair” was designed and installed by Rain Forest Trams, a company that owns and operates five world-class adventure parks in Central America and the Caribbean. Rain Forest Trams also operates Mystic Mountain in Jamaica, one of the Caribbean’s top attractions. The beach chair was manufactured by Salt Lake City-based Dopplemayer, a world leader in ropeway engineering.

The chair lift is an exciting feature of the expansive Mahogany Bay project, which includes two cruise ship piers and can accommodate up to 8,000 passengers daily. The facility, encompassing 20 acres of waterfront property, is expected to host more than 200 cruise ship calls and more than 500,000 passengers annually. The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center also offers a wide range of retail outlets, including two themed bars, a restaurant and several shops. A transportation hub with the ability to accommodate taxis, rental cars and tour buses, along with a wide range of shore excursion opportunities, are also available. The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center is a joint project of Carnival Corporation and Roatan businessman Jerry Hynds. For more information on the new Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, visit

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Royal Caribbean Welcomes Oasis of the Seas

Today’s the day Royal Caribbean executives have been waiting for and they’ve already issued birth (or would that be berth?) announcements. As of today, the shipyard will hand over the keys and Oasis of the Seas is officially a Royal Caribbean fleetmate.

As a bit of a bonus, in his Chairman’s Blog Richard Fain has revealed that, “The yard has discovered 4 extra cabins—I don’t know how they could have lost 4 cabins, but apparently they have now found them. Actually, it is not as surprising as it sounds because when a shipyard builds a ship, it commits to a certain number of cabins, in this case 2,700. But they build in a cushion because they normally lose cabins during the construction process (for equipment, storage, etc). Thus, we rarely get any extra cabins back because the yard ends up using them for other purposes. In the Oasis contract, we included a bonus for any extra cabins and today, the yard advised that they would increase the cabin numbers by 4. It may not sound like a lot, but it definitely helps.”

So, now with a total of 2,704 cabins on Oasis of the Seas, will Royal Caribbean be able to fill them on a week-in and week-out basis? We’ve seen fare price cutting for the ship’s initial sailings on the Royal Caribbean web site and the official inaugural cruise isn’t even sold out. Many ships sell out quickly for their maiden voyages and even have waiting lists. Of course none are as big as Oasis of the Seas and time will tell if the world’s largest cruise ship is also the world’s largest white elephant at sea.

What make us ponder that possibility? Hints that perhaps there’s a problem filling Oasis of the Seas came in the form of an innocuous press release earlier this week in which Royal Caribbean announced they are dedicating the month of December 2009 to honor the cruise line’s Crown & Anchor Society members on all ships. During the December Diamond Event, Diamond and Diamond Plus member guests on all sailings in the month will enjoy enhanced recognition benefits, as well as commemorative gifts, special events and exclusive offers on future sailings. So far, so good—the line is honoring loyal past passengers with special goodies, right? Maybe not all so good ...

Here’s where it gets interesting. The release goes on to say that Crown & Anchor Society members can still join more than 800 fellow Diamond and Diamond Plus members on the spectacular Oasis of the Seas inaugural cruise on Dec 5, 2009. In addition to the standard recognition benefits, Diamond and Diamond-plus level members will enjoy additional recognition gifts and benefits, including one additional cruise credit, exclusive special events, other surprise gifts that recognize the cruise line’s most loyal members, and tempting exclusive offers for future sailings.

As you may know, Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society is the cruise line’s guest loyalty program, recognizing guests with benefits and savings when they choose a Royal Caribbean cruise or cruise tour land package. While there are more than 800 of Royal Caribbean's most loyal past passengers booked on the Oasis of the Seas inaugural cruise, that's only more than 400 cabins out of 2,704 and we’re surprised that the line is resorting to giveaway offers to entice their loyalists to make what are essentially last-minute bookings at this late date. We’ll have to wait to see what that means. However, in the meantime, we offer everyone at Royal Caribbean our heartiest congratulations on the arrival of their newest vessel.

Additional information is available at Oasis of the Seas. For more information about Royal Caribbean, visit Royal Caribbean. To learn about the past passenger loyalty program, visit the Crown & Anchor Society.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Formal Attire Optional Beginning with New Year's Cruises

When we get the suitcases out and begin packing for a cruise (especially a lengthy one), the items that are bulkiest and weightiest are the tuxedo, sport coat, and fancy dresses. We fret that each suitcase will exceed the airline's weight limit and scramble to lighten them up. We ponder whether the tuxedo is really necessary, or whether a dark suit will pass muster. Will a pretty top with evening pants be fancy enough to say "formal"? That's about to change the next time we prepare for a cruise aboard a Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship.

As a result of guest feedback convincingly in favor of a less formal policy, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has established a revised dress code. Effective with the 2009/2010 New Year's cruises, guests are respectfully requested to adhere to the following guidelines:

Daytime Dress Code (until 6 p.m.) During the day, resort style clothing (including shorts, warm-up suits, jeans, and sneakers) is acceptable in all public areas. Bare feet are acceptable only on the Pool Deck. Note: Bathing suits, while acceptable at the Pool Bar and Grill, are not considered appropriate in any indoor venue.

Evening Dress Code (after 6 p.m.) Two types of dress code have been established for evenings in public areas: Elegant Casual and Formal Optional. The number of Formal Optional nights is dependent upon the length of the cruise, as follows:
• Cruises of fifteen nights or less will be Elegant Casual for the duration
• Cruises of sixteen nights or more will have two Formal Optional nights

Evening Dress Code Defined:

Elegant Casual: Skirt, or slacks (no jeans) with blouse or sweater, pant suit or dress for ladies; slacks (no jeans) and collared shirt for gentlemen. Sport jackets are optional. Note: Jeans, T-shirts, baseball caps, shorts, sneakers and bathrobes are not considered appropriate in any public area after 6 p.m.

Formal Optional: While guests are welcome to dress each evening as per the Elegant Casual dress code, during Formal Optional evenings, guests may opt for a more formal choice of clothing including gowns and cocktail dresses for ladies; tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suit with tie for gentlemen.

For more information contact your travel professional, call Regent Seven Seas Cruises at 877.505.5374, or visit

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rihanna Fans to Enjoy an Ocean View Concert From Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

After hearing her highly anticipated new single “Russian Roulette,” music fans from coast-to-coast are no doubt eager for a sneak-peek of Rihanna’s fourth album Rated R, being released Monday, Nov 23, 2009. Island Def Jam Music Group, Clear Channel Radio, and Royal Caribbean Intl have teamed together to give lucky Clear Channel Radio listeners the opportunity to win access to an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime performance by Rihanna. Winners and their guests will also enjoy a private 3-night sailing onboard Royal Caribbeans’s new Oasis of the Seas, the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, debuting next month. Dedicated fans can win this money-can’t-buy experience by tuning in to Clear Channel radio stations across the country weekdays beginning Monday, Oct 26 through Friday, Nov 6, 2009. Keywords will be announced throughout the day for listeners to text in for a chance to win.

Live from the Atlantic Ocean within eyesight of the Florida coast, Rihanna will be the first performer ever to take the stage onboard Oasis of the Seas’ AquaTheater, an amphitheater-style space that serves as a pool by day and dazzling ocean front theater after the sun goes down. Winners and their guests will have VIP access to the concert on Thursday, Nov 19, 2009. Following the adrenalin filled night, guests will be among the first to enjoy a weekend onboard the highly anticipated Oasis of the Seas.

Boasting never before seen amenities, including the first living park at sea, an authentic handcrafted carousel, a thrilling zip line that races diagonally across a nine-deck high, open-air atrium, and multilevel loft suites featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with ocean views, Oasis of the Seas caters to any personal style, preference and mood. An architectural marvel on the waves, Oasis of the Seas will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. She will be the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place, and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Additional information is available at

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Holland America Line Introduces ms Nieuw Amsterdam Microsite

While Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam is taking shape in the shipyard, future passengers can explore her spaces through an exciting new microsite located on in the Quick Links area of the homepage. The site allows visitors to experience the beauty and features of Holland America Line’s newest Signature class ship through interactive videos, photographs, animation, and renderings that bring the ship to life. Pictured here is the atrium.

“We are using the latest technology to present the new ship’s diverse amenities in a way that educates, engages and inspires cruisers,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales, and guest programs.

When first arriving at the page, a vibrant animated invitation to explore the Nieuw Amsterdam greets you. From this aerial, 360-degree view of the ship, you can then enter into public areas of the ship to visually explore staterooms, the grand atrium, entertainment and dining venues, and other locations. Site content is arranged according to Holland America Line’s five brand pillars essential to the guest experience—spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; gracious, award-winning service; worldwide itineraries; extensive activities and enrichment programs; and sophisticated five-star dining.

Ship renderings and animation are used in combination with photos and narrated videos from other Holland America Line ships, including sister ship ms Eurodam, to give you an idea of what it will be like to sail aboard the 2,104-guest Nieuw Amsterdam. You will also find helpful links to connect to the Find Cruises tool on Holland America Line’s website and the Holland America Blog—a fleetwide weblog that highlights all 14 existing ships, including the latest news and photographs on the progress of Nieuw Amsterdam and a wide array of topics. It’s also easy to share the site with friends via email.

Nieuw Amsterdam’s inaugural cruise sails July 4, 2010 10-days roundtrip from Venice to ports in Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, and Italy. After several Mediterranean sailings, Nieuw Amsterdam embarks on a fall crossing of the Atlantic as she heads to warmth of the Caribbean for the remaining winter months. For more information, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Carnival Miracle’s Caribbean Cruises to Feature Aruba

In a move that’s certain to be popular with passengers, Carnival Cruise Lines has modified the Carnival Miracle’s seasonal Caribbean cruise schedule to include a 10-hour stop in Aruba, one of the region’s most scenic and charming destinations with beautiful beaches and a distinctive Dutch ambiance.

The island will be featured on the ship’s 8-day voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, operating October 2010 to March 2011. Other ports on the itinerary include Grand Turk, La Romana/Casa de Campo, and Curacao, each of which offers magnificent beaches and a diversity of landside experiences.

Carnival Miracle operates a seasonal schedule of 8-day Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale in the winter and 8-day Caribbean voyages from New York in the summer.

When Cruise Diva goes ashore in Aruba, here are the things to See & Do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Trim Your Cruise Wardrobe, Pack Light, Be Fashionable & Practical

Do you ever worry about getting your luggage?

You probably wonder why I am asking. Just what does that have to do with your cruise wardrobe? Everything, if you don't have it! According to cruise line Hotel Managers and Guest Satisfaction Directors I’ve spoken to over the years, their passengers’ biggest complaints are poor airline service and lost luggage—situations over which the cruise lines have little or no control.

It never occurred to me that I’d ever be separated from my luggage until it happened. A sinking feeling is hard to overcome when the baggage carousel stops spitting out suitcases and yours aren’t there. I know that feeling and it drove this Cruise Diva to change her packing habits.

No one really needs seven suitcases! I decided that fourteen pairs of shoes were about ten pairs too many and, who says you can’t wear the same thing twice, particularly on a lengthy cruise?

This is how I went to Europe for a 15-night cruise with everything I really needed in a regulation carry on and a backpack style purse: Pack Light.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Princess Cruises Made A Difference In South Pacific Relief Efforts

While many people view cruise travel as simply fun in the sun (if not downright decadent), that's not always the reality. When Star Princess and Sun Princess called in Apia, Samoa and Pago Pago, American Samoa weekend before last, the ships brought along some much needed relief supplies and more than $10,000 in donations for the region that was recently hit with a powerful tsunami.

The ships off-loaded pallets of bottled water, sugar, flour, linens, and clothing donated by passengers and crew, plus treats of candy and chocolate for the children. In addition, in Pago Pago, both ships welcomed Red Cross relief workers onboard for some relief of their own, with hot showers, use of the ships’ laundries, phone calls home, and lunch.

The ship captains conveyed the heartfelt sympathy and support of Princess crew and passengers for the people of Samoa during this difficult time, and informed local officials that the Princess Cruises Community Foundation is donating $10,000 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Samoa and American Samoa.

The ships also conducted their own fundraising for the relief efforts, including donations from their Crew Club funds, contributions received from passengers and crew, and money raised from auctions of the ships’ navigational charts used during the cruises.

In Apia, the Honorable Misa Telfoni, the minister of tourism and deputy prime minister, was touched by the generosity of Princess Cruises. He made particular mention of the Princess crew and their donation which he described as “random acts of kindness and love” which would greatly assist in the recovery and renewed growth of the area.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available on the company's website at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Save On A Celebrity Alaska Cruisetour

In Alaska, there are as many things to see as there are ways to experience them. And that's why a Celebrity Cruises Alaska Cruisetour is the perfect way to do it all.

On a Celebrity Cruisetour, you journey aboard one of their expansive ships, enjoying award-winning dining and exceptional service, while Alaska's shorelines provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation. In addition, Celebrity takes you further, through an exceptional series of unforgettable guided tours on land. The pre- or post-cruise tours, ranging from 3- to 7-nights, give you a closer look at Alaska's vast wilderness and metropolitan cities.

For a limited time, when you book an Alaska Cruisetour, you'll enjoy a special reward. Book an enriching Alaska Cruisetour before Dec 31st, 2009 and enjoy $200 onboard credit to spend on the ship. Don't miss out on this opportunity to plan a perfect Alaska Cruisetour. To book your favorite itinerary, see your local travel agent, call 1-888-305-9153, or visit

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Carnival and M&Ms Team Up For “Frightfully Fun”

There's a chill in the air and that can only mean one thing.

Halloween is just around the corner and to celebrate Carnival and M&M’S® have teamed up for their annual “Frightfully Fun” promotion aboard all “Fun Ship” voyages departing through Oct. 31, 2009.

During the “Frightfully Fun” promotion, guests sailing with Carnival can enjoy a variety of fun-filled activities, everything from costume contests and Halloween-themed giveaways to scary movies, and, of course, trick or treating, with candies and other goodies from M&M’S®. All guests are encouraged to bring their costumes and participate in the costume contest and parade.

Children up to 14 years of age are also invited to go trick or treating along the ship’s promenade and through various public areas to stock up on M&Ms® signature candies, including Milky Way®, Snickers®, Skittles®, Starburst® and Twix®.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cruise Travel: Luggage Tags, Then & Now

Slowly but surely, the cruise industry is catching on to the efficiencies of airline-style e-ticketing and passengers are seeing cruise document packets being replaced by e-documents.

Quite simply, either you or your travel agent can input all the necessary pre-boarding information online at the cruise line's web site and then print out the documents you need for check in at the terminal, including luggage tags. Paper Luggage Tags? Really?

While most passengers have no complaint about printing e-documents for their cruise, luggage tags printed on paper are a cause for concern. As frequent cruiser George Hall said recently, "Someone will have to explain to me how these paper tags stay on through the process."

Cruise Diva has had occasion to print out and use the paper luggage tags several times and offers suggestions for how to keep them securely in place: Luggage Tags, Then & Now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No Pirates In The Caribbean For Seabourn Passengers

Sometimes events half a world away can have a positive effect for North American travelers whose vacation destination preferences lean toward closer to home. In just such a twist of events, the Yachts of Seabourn recently announced that the company will not operate a planned 5-month, 15-cruise series of voyages in the Indian Ocean aboard the 208-guest, all-suite yacht Seabourn Legend in late 2010 and early 2011. The vessel will instead be positioned back to the Americas at the end of its Mediterranean season to cruise in the Caribbean for the winter.

Calling the decision “regrettable,” Seabourn’s president and CEO Pamela Conover said that while the intended shoreside destinations remain apparently safe for visitors, the high seas routes between them are currently vulnerable to incidents of piracy that have not been adequately controlled. “It makes me sad to have to cancel these cruises,” Conover said.

However, heading for Cruise Diva's favorite non-pirate cruising locale, Seabourn Legend’s voyages among the favored yacht harbors and unspoiled islands of the Caribbean remain a very popular choice for travelers looking for an award-winning small-ship experience in a relaxing and beautiful destination. Itineraries are designed to take advantage of Legend’s intimate size and features, such as the unique fold-out watersports marina that can be deployed in a secluded cove for Seabourn’s signature “Champagne and Caviar in the Surf” beach barbecue. Activities ashore range from snorkeling, yacht-racing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding and zip-line adventures to visiting artists’ studios, tony boutiques and strolling or relaxing on world-class beaches. On board, deck barbecues and al fresco dining options make the most of the bucolic climate, as do Dancing and Movies Under the Stars. Week-long itineraries sail between Ft. Lauderdale and St. Thomas, or round trip from St. Thomas.

Seabourn yachting enthusiasts looking for exotic itineraries still have a stunning selection from which to choose. Seabourn Spirit will depart the Mediterranean in Nov of 2010, sailing through Egypt, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and Oman to Dubai. Spirit will then continue via India, Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore, to begin a season of cruises exploring Bali, Borneo, Java and the myriad islands of the Java, Flores and Savu Seas. The intimate vessel will even venture southward to Australia’s Northern Territories and Great Barrier Reef. Seabourn Pride, meanwhile, will be cruising in Asia for the full year, and in the autumn will be sailing in China, Thailand and Vietnam, with included or optional extensions to Beijing, Guilin, Cambodia & Laos and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Seabourn Odyssey will make a maiden circumnavigation of South America in early 2011, encompassing the Peruvian and Chilean coasts, the Chilean fjords and Patagonia, Cape Horn, the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and the Amazon.

For more information, contact your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Limited Offer: Fly Free From NYC With AMAWATERWAYS

Award-winning European river cruise line AMAWATERWAYS announces its new World’s Largest River Cruise Sale (“WLRCS”), featuring “Free Airfare” on select departures in 2009 & 2010. This exceptional promotion replaces the line’s existing “WLRCS,” which launched earlier in October. Under the new promotion, AMAWATERWAYS all-inclusive premium cruise vacations start as low as $1,899 per person for a 7-night European river cruise, including roundtrip airfare from New York.*

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of this year’s World’s Largest Cruise Night initiative, “said AMAWATERWAYS President, Rudi Schreiner. “Free airfare is an extremely attractive incentive that makes our fantastic river cruise vacations even more appealing. We’re offering the free air on a unique range of itineraries and land programs passengers won’t find elsewhere. That’s why we’ve named our promotion the ‘World’s Largest River Cruise Sale,’” added Schreiner.
The new WLRCS is valid for bookings made between Oct. 12 and 31, and supports CLIA’s “World’s Largest Cruise Night” initiative. Passengers can take advantage of this amazing Free Airfare offer on the following river cruise programs:

• Winter Heartland, from Prague to Paris, with special hosts AMAWATERWAYS President, Rudi Schreiner, and Executive V.P. of Sales, Kristin Karst. This itinerary features festive Christmas Markets and departs Dec 18, 2009;
• Christmas Time Cruise, from Prague to Budapest, with Christmas Market visits in Nuremberg, Regensburg and Vienna. Departures are available Nov 20, Dec 13 & 25, 2009;
• Blue Danube Discovery, from Budapest to Prague, with special host AMAWATERWAYS Vice President, Business Development, Ron Santangelo; departing Nov 13, 2009;
• Christmas Wonderland, from Amsterdam to Paris, featuring Christmas Markets in Frankfurt, Cologne and Düsseldorf. Departures are available Nov 18, Dec 2, 12 (with special host AMAWATERWAYS Sales Executive Doris Pak) & Dec 16, 2009;
• Paris to Amsterdam, on the enchanting Rhine and Mosel rivers with calls that include Cochem, Rüdesheim, Mainz and Cologne. Departure on April 15, 2010;
• Romantic Danube, from Prague to Budapest in the colorful springtime. Departures are available April 10 and 14, 2010;
• Enchanting Rhine Cruise-new for 2010-beginning with a land program in Zürich and Lucerne, followed by a 7-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, departing on April 11, 2010;
• Europe’s Heartland Cruise, beginning with a land program in Prague, followed by a 7-night cruise from Nuremberg to Trier and a post-cruise land program in Paris. Departure set for Nov 12, 2009, with special host AMAWATERWAYS Executive V.P. of Sales, Kristin Karst. Promotion also available for Nov 3, 2010 departure (reverse itinerary).
• Magnificent Europe Cruise, featuring a 14-day sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest. Departures set for April 24; June 10; July 18 & August 15, 2010.

To make a reservation, or for additional information, contact AMAWATERWAYS at 800-626-0126. Visit for more information about fine river cruise vacations from AMAWATERWAYS.

*Offer applicable to new bookings made between Oct. 12 - 31, 2009; not combinable with any other promotions/discounts; limited to availability and is subject to change without notice. FREE AIRFARE is based on roundtrip economy fare from New York City and applies only to the travel dates, arrival and departure cities specified in each published itinerary. For additional U.S. gateways, please refer to brochure air add-on rates or ask for details. Passengers are responsible for air taxes and fuel surcharges, which will be determined at the time of booking. For 2009 departures: full payment required within 3 days of initial booking. For 2010 departures: $400 per person deposit for cruise fare and $300 per person to secure promotional airfare required within 7 days of initial booking. Air taxes and fuel surcharges may vary until paid in full. AMAWATERWAYS reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome to Royal Caribbean's Private Island, Labadee

Welcome to Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee, Haiti where you'll find a gorgeous beach, plenty of activities, hammocks for soaking up the sun, and a local artisans' market. Take a mini-tour, review the exciting enhancements, and hear about President Clinton's recent trip to learn how Royal Caribbean guests help Haiti when they visit Labadee.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Savings on Regent Seven Seas' Final Voyages Aboard Paul Gauguin

Twelve years ago, Regent Seven Seas Cruises launched Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. The ship fast became a South Seas legend, providing a magical mix of a luxury product in a breathtakingly beautiful destination.

Now is your final opportunity to sail on Paul Gauguin under the Regent Seven Seas banner.

Escape the winter's chill and enjoy unprecedented offers on the following voyages to Tahiti, featuring savings of up to 67% off cruise-only fares and third guests sail FREE aboard Paul Gauguin.

Lautoka to Papeete on Nov 22, 2009
14 Nights, Fares from $4,495 per guest
Special Offer • Save up to 64%

Papeete to Papeete, Dec 5, 2009
14 Nights, Fares from $3,445 per guest
Special Offer • Save up to 67%

Papeete to Papeete, Dec 19, 2009
9 Nights, Fares from $3,495 per guest
Special Offer • Save up to 65%

Papeete to Papeete, Dec 28, 2009
9 Nights, Fares from $3,495 per guest
Special Offer • Save up to 65%

For additional information, contact your travel professional, call 877.505.5374 or visit Regent Seven Seas Cruises web site.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Step Behind The Stage: It's Show Time Aboard Holland America Line

It's Show Time! and Cruise Diva ventured Behind The Stage after a performance of the movie musical concert "Stage & Screen" aboard Westerdam for a peek at what goes into the making of Holland America Line's production shows.

Come along as a production is planned, cast, and staged.

Visit the technical nerve center and the dressing rooms to discover how the singers and dancers make those speedy costume changes between numbers. I was surprised!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Carnival Dream's Laser Shows Are An Extraordinary Display

With the debut of the new 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, Carnival has also introduced the line’s first outdoor laser shows that combine the latest in laser technology with rock music to provide guests a unique and exciting nighttime entertainment option.

Pictured here, the 15-minute nighttime laser shows—the first ever for a North America–based cruise ship—features choreographed lasers projecting brilliant aerial patterns of blue, red and green set to music by popular artists such as Styx, Rush, Van Halen, Boston, and Pink Floyd.

The line’s largest ship, Carnival Dream is currently completing a series of Mediterranean voyages and will then reposition to New York for a pair of 8-day cruises to Florida and The Bahamas. Carnival Dream launches year-round 7-day Caribbean service from Port Canaveral Dec. 12, 2009.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cruise Travel: Oceania Cruises' Regatta in Europe

Yes, it is possible to take a Grand Tour of Europe without the hassle of checking into and out of a half dozen hotels and unpacking and repacking in each one.

Veteran passenger of more than a hundred cruises, and widely published cruise travel author, Georgina Cruz shares the joy and convenience of sailing on a 16-night cruise aboard Oceania Cruises' Regatta in Europe.

Cruise Diva is sure you'll agree with Georgina that, “A European cruise—or any voyage—is the travel equivalent of a piece of cake.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cruise Travel: Booking a Cruise at the Pier

Every once in a while I get an email with a question that goes something like this, "I have heard that some travelers have gone to the port on departure day and waited for any unused rooms they could get at discount prices. Can you really do that and does it happen enough to make it practical to actually drive there and wait it out?"

The short answer is "no."

It's what Cruise Diva regards as the cruising urban legend that will not die... that someone knows someone whose second cousin's mother-in-law packed a bag and arrived at the pier on sailing day. She booked an available cabin on a departing cruise ship and—surprise!—was assigned the owner's suite for mere pennies.

If you've ever considered showing up at the pier with your luggage in hopes of booking a last minute, cut-rate cabin, don't give it another thought. Cruise lines no longer accept bookings at the dock.

Why not? After all, cruise lines don't want to sail with empty cabins, do they?

First, there are security procedures that preclude booking a cruise dockside. Cruise lines must submit their manifests to government authorities well in advance of sailing. And, secondly, nearly all cruise ships are sailing fully booked these days.

Your best bet for a last minute bargain cruise fare is to watch ads in the newspaper or online and book when you see one in your price range.

For more answers to commonly asked cruise-related questions, Cruise Diva shares Just the FAQs.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Share the Magic by Hosting a Disney Cruise Line House Party

You already share the memories of your cruising experiences with friends and family. Why not share them in true Disney style, at a special event celebrating Disney Cruise Line®?

You could be one of 2,000 Disney cruise enthusiasts selected to host the party of the year on Nov 14th—a Disney Cruise Line® House Party. House parties will be taking place all across the country, with hosts and guests relaxing and enjoying a taste of the Disney Cruise Line® experience right in their own home. Guests will also learn about Disney’s brand new destinations, itineraries, and the brand-new ship, the Disney Dream.

What is a House Party? It’s a party held in your home, celebrating something cool you want to share with your friends and family. You set up a free party page to get the buzz going and spread the word, and the folks at House Party provide you with creative party ideas, favors, tips, and more. Then you receive a fantastic party pack from Disney Cruise Line®, with products to make your party spectacular—all you do is invite your guests, share your great cruising experiences with them, and enjoy your party.

Host spots are limited—don’t miss out! Follow this link to get in on the magic.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mark Your Calendar for Savings During the World’s Largest Cruise Night

Did you know that October is National Cruise Vacation Month? To celebrate, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering special savings on more than 300 popular cruises around the world as part of World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN), the centerpiece of National Cruise Vacation Month, on Wednesday, Oct 14, with a preview day on Tuesday, Oct 13. The offer, available through Oct 20, provides half off standard cruise deposits and up to $250 in on-board credit per stateroom, based on cruise length and category.

The on-board credit can be used to purchase anything from shore excursions and spa treatments; to specialty fitness classes like yoga and spinning; gifts in the duty free shop and can even be used in the casino. The amount is based on the length of the cruise and the category of stateroom booked. Guests who book sailings of up to five days in a Garden Villa receive $100 per stateroom in spending credit; $75 for suites; $50 for mini-suites; $40 for balcony staterooms; $20 for oceanview and $15 for inside staterooms. For sailings of six days and longer, guests sailing in a Garden Villa receive $250 per stateroom in on-board spending credit; $150 for suites; $100 for mini-suites and deluxe balcony staterooms; $75 for balcony staterooms; $50 for oceanview and $25 for inside staterooms.

WLCN is part of a series of innovative initiatives launched in celebration of October's National Cruise Vacation Month, a North American celebration of the cruise experience. Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) member travel agencies across the U.S. and Canada will focus their promotional efforts to educate travelers on the value and diversity of today's cruise vacations.

So, mark your calendar and plan to call your travel agent next Wednesday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Silversea Reporting Brisk Sales of Silver Spirit's "Grand Inaugural Voyage"

Silversea's Art-Deco-inspired, all-suite, 540-guest Silver Spirit is nearing completion at Fincantieri’s Ancona yard for a December delivery. When completed, the luxury line's newest ship will offer six gourmet restaurants, an 8,300 sq. ft. indoor/outdoor spa, the largest suites in Silversea's fleet, and five-star service.

"This ship is attractive to a younger demographic overall because of the six dining venues, the outdoor dining options, the more than 8,000 sq ft spa, and all the entertainment venues offered on board," according to Ball Ball, Silversea's director of media relations. "It has a very lively feel and welcoming vibe that is very appealing."

After a Mediterranean holiday cruise and a crossing from Lisbon to Fort Lauderdale, where the naming ceremony is scheduled to be held on Jan. 21, Silver Spirit will set off on a 91-day "Grand Inaugural Voyage" to visit more than 45 ports in 20 countries (leaving Fort Lauderdale and heading south to Rio for an evening at Carnaval, around Cape Horn, along the Mexican Riviera to Los Angeles, then traveling through the Panama Canal and continuing up America’s colonial coast northward to New York City).

While it would be a dream come true for most of us to be among the 30% of the passengers booked for the full 91-day "Grand Inaugural Voyage"cruise sailing from Fort Lauderdale to New York, more than 30 of Silver Spirit’s passengers plan to sail even longer. One couple has booked 154 days straight!

You'll have to hurry if you want to join them, though as the voyage is filling fast. All the Owner’s and Grand Suites are booked for the full 91-day voyage, and most of the Silver Suites are reserved as well. However, a few Silver Suites are available on some individual segments. With butler service for all, it would be no challenge to sail in lesser quarters. Even the Vista Suites are a generously proportioned 312-sq. ft.

Ball adds, "We knew our past guests would appreciate Silver Spirit. It has all the new bells and whistles travelers want today. However, we’re pleasantly surprised by the 20% of guests who are new to Silversea. What agents are hearing and reading about Silver Spirit gives them the confidence to recommend an extended voyage aboard Silver Spirit to their clients."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Presidential Visit to Labadee

Chairman & CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. Richard Fain reports on his Chairmans's Blog about a recent trip he and other company executives made to their private island Labadee to see first-hand the upgrades there, which include a new pier, an alpine coaster, new dining facilities, and expanded amenities. Located on a 260-acre peninsula, Labadee is approximately six miles from Cap Haitien on the secluded north coast of Hispaniola (more familiarly known as Haiti).

As Fain shared the developments during their day, he noted,
By coincidence, President Bill Clinton was leading a delegation as part of his mandate from the UN as special envoy to Haiti dealing with their economic and social crisis. We are one of the largest foreign investors in Haiti and over the years, Labadee has brought more than 10 million tourists to the island and have invested close to $100 million. President Clinton very generously agreed to visit Labadee with his delegation and we therefore had the privilege of hosting him today as well.

What a day! Seeing the improvements was thrilling and getting to show them off to President Clinton was a special honor. The island looked great and it really showcased what we offer our guests. We are particularly proud of the economic benefit our site provides to Haiti in fees and taxes, employment and community involvement. For example, we visited a clean water project we sponsored in the neighboring village of Labadie as well as plans for a new school we are hoping to build to serve several of the neighboring villages.
Cruise Diva wonders if a Royal Caribbean cruise is in the former-President and current Secretary of State's future?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Chef's Table Aboard Holland America Line's Westerdam

Dining At Its Finest—The Chef's Table, a new concept in dining aboard Holland America Line's ms Westerdam is an exquisite five course pairing of wines selected by the ship's Cellar Master to complement the gourmet dishes prepared a la minute by the Executive Chef in the Culinary Arts Center's show kitchen.

The table is set, the champagne is poured, so join Cruise Diva at the Chef's Table to enjoy a heavenly meal with a different wine poured at each course. As a bonus, there's also a very useful kitchen tip you can use at home.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Two New Pride of America Hawaii Sailings Added For Spring 2010

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the company is adding two new Hawaii cruises to Pride of America’s schedule for next spring. Pride of America is the only ship offering 7-day interisland cruises from Honolulu to all four of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands. The two sailings go on sale Monday, Oct 5. The sailings on April 24 and May 1, 2010 will feature a new itinerary that includes a day at sea along with the four ports currently offered on Pride of America: Hilo, Hawaii; Kahului, Maui; Kona, Hawaii; and an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kauai. In addition, the two sailings will include an evening sail by Kilauea Volcano, a day cruise by the north coast of Molokai and an afternoon sail by the breathtaking Napali coast.

Pride of America features the innovative attributes of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising with a star spangled line up of eight culinary options, dynamic public rooms such as the Hollywood Theater, the expansive Rascal’s Kids Center, and the luxurious Santa Fe Spa & Fitness Center. The heart of the ship, the Capitol Atrium, is inspired by the Capitol Building and White House and features a decorative stone floor, impressive water feature, and a stunning backlit glass dome. Pride of America also offers an extensive choice of staterooms highlighted by an expansive Grand Suite, a broad range of family accommodations with more than 250 staterooms that interconnect, more than 660 balcony staterooms, as well as Family Suites, accommodating up to eight people.

The ship features the latest in relaxation and fitness facilities. The Sports Deck includes a basketball and volleyball court. The large South Beach sunning and swimming area is inspired by Miami’s Art Deco district and features some novel distractions including a gyroscope and bungee trampoline and activities capturing the energy and fun of Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road. The ship also offers the best meeting facilities at sea with the largest conference facilities and the only dedicated meeting deck on water. Plus, on-board meetings may qualify for both corporate and individual federal tax deductions. For more information, go to

The new sailings were added as a result of the ship’s scheduled dry dock being postponed to a later date. To book one of these new sailings on Pride of America, contact Norwegian Cruise Line at 866-234-7350, visit, or call a travel professional.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Carnival Cruise Lines Opens Children’s ‘Fun Zone’ At Port of Miami Cruise Terminal

Carnival Cruise Lines wants to make sure kids always have a good time – even while they’re waiting to board their “Fun Ship” cruise.

In keeping with its reputation as a family cruise leader, Carnival Cruise Lines has installed the first-ever “Fun Zone” at the Port of Miami cruise terminal, providing a welcome diversion for families with a host of toys, games, and activities.

Located on the upper level of the facility, the “Fun Zone” includes indoor playground equipment, video game consoles, board games, coloring books, and more.

The line plans on adding “Fun Zones” to other year-round homeports in the future.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

NEW Cruise Review: Holland America Line's Westerdam in Alaska

Alaska Explorer Via Glacier Bay

Our recent cruise to Alaska aboard Holland America Line's Westerdam is just one of the major itineraries offered by the most experienced cruise line sailing to the Great State.

Follow along with Cruise Diva in search of glaciers, whales, and a totally carefree cruise experience on board Westerdam in Alaska.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oops, Ships That Go Bump in Cozumel

Earlier this week there were photos on the Holland America Line blog illustrating Parking ms Rotterdam in Barcelona, Spain. The pictures show the ship being deftly inched into her berth behind Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess. The day was sunny and clear and Rotterdam docked with room to spare.

We see ships come and go so regularly without incident that it's almost unthinkable that one could have a parking accident. Unfortunately, that's not always the case and Mother Nature had a hand in such an accident this week.

According to their spokesperson, at approximately 6:15pm on Wednesday, while Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Legend (pictured here) was maneuvering on departure from the port of Cozumel, extremely strong winds pushed the vessel up against the side of Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas. The Royal Caribbean ship was still docked when the incident occurred. The Carnival Legend sustained broken glass and other minor damage to some open deck areas and no one was injured on either ship. Damage to both vessels was not serious and both ships are proceeding on to their next ports of call.

All appropriate authorities were notified and, following an examination of the vessel by Mexican authorities, Carnival Legend was cleared to sail. Carnival Legend operates 7-day Caribbean cruises year round from Tampa, Florida. Enchantment of the Seas is homeported in Fort Lauderdale and is currently on a 5-night Western Caribbean itinerary.

In an odd twist of fate, both ships were making their way to Belize after leaving Cozumel.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Silversea Cruises Has a New Online Look and a Silver Spirit Blog

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises officially launched the new Silver Spirit Blog recently, as well as a refreshed website at The Blog will serve as a resource for latest news and photographs detailing the new fleetmate's progress and counting down the days until Dec 23, when Silver Spirit welcomes her first guests.

With the upcoming debut of its newest ship already generating buzz, it is more important than ever to offer travelers more ways to access information and keep updated on developments. In addition to the Silver Spirit Blog, the company recently soft launched a Facebook fan page and Twitter microblog, both of which can now be easily accessed from the website's Blog page. Through these social media platforms, the company hopes to increase communication and gain valuable feedback from readers.

"There's a lot of excitement and interest building around Silver Spirit as we get closer to her launch date," said Linda Schultes, Silversea's associate vice president of worldwide marketing. "Social media technologies offer an excellent opportunity for us to engage more closely with our guests and travel agent partners. The Silver Spirit Blog is a natural next step for us and we hope it will offer our guests a broader perspective on what they have to look forward to."

Other website enhancements include improved functionality features, new content pages, and a more visually engaging home page that displays a flash header allowing vibrant images to fade in and out with messages that highlight key brand attributes and special programs. The Silversea Expeditions section has also been revamped with improved navigation features and dynamic flash imagery. Visitors to this section can now readily experience the excitement of an expedition cruise by viewing the Prince Albert II video prominently displayed in the header. And more new features will be added to the website in the coming weeks.