Join them as Georgina shares the details about the ship's recent makeover and highlights the luxurious experience.
Image Courtesy Silversea Cruises
• Jan. 3, 2015: Seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise aboard ms Westerdam that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Each theme cruise features lively guest performances from the professional dancers and celebrities who dazzle the audience with routines from the television show and exciting new choreographed dances. Additional events on theme cruises include dance lessons with the ship’s professional dancers, a special fashion show featuring glamorous show costumes, and a chance to meet the dance pros and celebrities, ask questions and take photos with them. Celebrities and professional dancers for 2015 will be announced in the coming weeks.
• Jan. 10, 2015: Seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise aboard ms Westerdam that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
• June 6, 2015: Seven-day Bermuda cruise aboard ms Veendam that sails roundtrip from Boston, Mass.
• June 13, 2015: Seven-day Canada/New England cruise aboard ms Veendam that sails from Boston, Mass, to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
• Jan. 3, 2016: Seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
• Champions Cruise: Jan. 10, 2016: Seven-day western Caribbean cruise aboard ms Nieuw Amsterdam that sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
|Julie Benson Christens Princess Cruises’ |
Rose Parade Float
* Air gateways for the all-inclusive package are Atlanta, GA.; Chicago, IL.; Dallas & Fort Worth, TX; and New York, NY (JFK only); The all-inclusive package also is available from 21 additional U.S. and Canadian cities for an additional surcharge.
Thanksgiving – Nov. 22nd departure to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas: Spend Thanksgiving Day at sea enjoying festive entertainment, a traditional Turkey dinner and all-day football displayed on multiple large screens in the sports bar. Kids ages 3-11 can participate in a special Turkey Day cooking class and a Thanksgiving Day costume parade and show. A Thanksgiving scavenger hunt, flash mob and party will take place for children ages 12-17.Bookings made by Oct. 31, 2014 qualify for the line’s National Cruise Vacation Month deal, which includes balcony staterooms at ocean view rates, plus kids aged 11 and under sail free. MSC Cruises is also offering a complimentary drink package on these select sailings for those who upgrade to their new “Fantastica experience.” Finally, bookings made before the end of the month will qualify for pre-paid gratuities for all MSC Divina 7-night Caribbean sailings between now and Dec 13, 2014. For more information, visit MSCCruisesUSA.com.
Hanukkah – Dec. 13th departure to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas: For those celebrating Hanukkah, MSC Divina will host a nightly Menorah lighting as well as serve traditional Hanukkah foods. Special kosher meals can also be ordered in advance.
Christmas – Dec. 20th departure to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Bahamas: For Christmas, MSC Divina will be decked out in the traditional trimmings, with lights, decorations, and festive Christmas trees. Guests will enjoy traditional Christmas carols, a visit by Santa Claus who will present a gift to every child on board, and special Christmas menus honoring the culinary traditions of the holiday. In addition, kids can take part in in Christmas-themed cooking classes, parades, scavenger hunts, and disco dances. A Christmas mass will also be celebrated onboard.
|The original Love Boat cast will serve as |
godparents for Regal Princess
"Late afternoon on Wednesday, Oct. 15., we were made aware by the U.S. CDC of a guest sailing this week on board Carnival Magic who is a lab supervisor at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. At no point in time has the individual exhibited any symptoms or signs of infection and it has been 19 days since she was in the lab with the testing samples. She is deemed by CDC to be very low risk. At this time, the guest remains in isolation on board the ship and is not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew. It is important to reiterate that the individual has no symptoms and has been isolated in an extreme abundance of caution. We are in close contact with the CDC and at this time it has been determined that the appropriate course of action is to simply keep the guest in isolation on board."Carnival Magic departed from Galveston Texas on Sunday, October 12, called at Mahogany Bay, Honduras on Wednesday October 15 and arrived off the coast of Belize on Thursday October 16 where, in an abundance of caution, the island's government refused to allow the passenger and her traveling companion to go ashore. The Belizean government issued this statement in a press release:
"The government of Belize reassures the public that the passenger never set foot in Belize and while we remain in close contact with U.S. officials we have maintained the position that when even the smallest doubt remains, we will ensure the health and safety of the Belizean people."UPDATE from Carnival Cruise Lines:
In addition, the Government of Belize decided "not to facilitate a U.S. request for assistance in evacuating the passenger through the Phillip Goldson International Airport."
*Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise company in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK). Together, the brands operate 101 ships totaling 212,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2014 and 2017. Carnival Corporation also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.
• American Icon Grill offers guests a take on the classic American road trip pulling together best-loved regional favorites into one comfort-style menu;Guests will enjoy menus of the new concepts beginning March 14, 2015, onboard Oasis of the Seas. Guests sailing Oasis of the Seas prior to March 14, will enjoy the traditional dining room experience in the newly designed spaces. As part of Dynamic Dining guests will have full control of their own epicurean journey with a selection of specialty restaurants including four new unique concepts:
• Silk is a vibrant and exotic destination where the spices of the Far East bring new flavor to adventurous palates through a Pan-Asian menu;
• The Grande, where every night is formal night, offers an elegant ambiance and refined cuisine.
• Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, a reimagined Izumi Japanese Cuisine offering a full teppanyaki menu as well as fresh and flavorful sushi rolls and sashimi;Finally, guests will continue to enjoy Giovanni’s Table, 150 Central Park and Vintage Wine Bar, the specialty dining concepts introduced on the Oasis-class in 2009.
• Sabor Taqueria & Tequila Bar, first introduced aboard Navigator of the Seas, will feature a menu of authentic, modern and unexpected Mexican dishes including guacamole made tableside. These dishes can be complemented by a beverage menu of tequilas, mezcal, and Mexican beers, as well as sangrias and tableside-mixed margaritas;
• Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine, a unique culinary adventure for the senses where Royal Caribbean chefs twist their culinary kaleidoscopes in a whimsical setting that challenges the imagination with never-before-seen fare;
• Coastal Kitchen is an exclusive restaurant for suite guests and Pinnacle members, that fuses Mediterranean influences with the riches of California’s bountiful farmlands. The experience is complemented by a robust wine list, curated specifically for the venue.
• Boatloads of Bandwidth, will offer guests onboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas connectivity that matches broadband connections onshore and is greater than all other cruise ships combined. These new capabilities, allow the cruise line to offer affordable Internet packages so that guests may watch streaming video, check email, share images on social media, and have video conversations, even in the middle of the ocean.New Exclusive Suite Experience
• Royal iQ is a new app that puts guests in charge of their vacation choices. With the improved connectivity, Royal iQ is able to continue dining reservations, shore excursions, and spa appointments onboard, through both a downloadable app and at freestanding iQ stations around the ship. Royal iQ can be used as a convenient calendar that provides guests with at-a-glance views of their programs and to keep in touch with one another and home via phone and text capabilities.
• The Suite Lounge, an exclusive lounge area for suite guests to relax offering views of the ship and sea;New Broadway Show
• The Sun Deck, a new sun deck area that gives suites guests the chance to relax in the Caribbean sun with lounge furniture, shaded and seating areas, and private service;
• Coastal Kitchen is a suites only full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Mediterranean flair.
• Journey kicks off the 2015 roster with two rock anthem-filled performances on March 18 and 19 in St. Thomas.“We are thrilled to continue our Carnival LIVE Concert Series in 2015 and welcome aboard more fantastic rock, country and R&B artists for our guests to enjoy,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “This program has struck a chord with consistently sold-out shows and a tremendous response from past guests as well as those who sailed with us for the first time to catch their favorite performers.”
• The award-winning Little Big Town brings their unmistakable sound to “Fun Ships” in Nassau for three appearances on (March 30 and 31 and April 1).
• Guests “Cruisin’” to see Smokey Robinson sing timeless classics from his 50-year music career can catch the icon April 21, 22, and 23 in Cozumel.
• In May, country trio Rascal Flatts, one of the top-selling live artists in any genre, will perform a series of three shows for guests in Cozumel (May 5, 6, and 7).
• Rock fans are invited to “Come Sail Away” to see one of four Styx concerts to be performed in Nassau (June 16, 17, 18, and 20).
|1965, Princess Patricia|
• Love Boat Disco Deck Party: To honor the iconic role The Love Boat played in the line’s history, a Love Boat Disco Party will celebrate the program during a 70’s theme night. Movies Under the Stars will showcase video messages from the original Love Boat cast, montages from the show, a Love Boat sing-a-long and show trivia, 70’s music videos, and even a live kiss cam. The party will also feature a production number, a celebration of weddings and anniversaries of guests onboard, a photo opportunity with a Love Boat life ring, and dancing with a party band.The 50th anniversary officially kicks off with the naming ceremony of Regal Princess on Nov. 5, 2014, in Ft. Lauderdale by the original Love Boat cast members before she sets sail for her maiden season of Caribbean cruises. Some of the 50th anniversary onboard offerings will be available aboard Regal Princess beginning in November (when the Cruise Diva crew will be on board and live blogging from the ship) and then roll out to the rest of the fleet in early 2015. More information about various 50th anniversary activities, including a comprehensive historical time line and video, can be found at Princess.com/50th-anniversary.
• Festive Food: One night on every cruise, the main dining rooms will present a special souvenir menu featuring commemorative dishes from the past five decades. Known for offering great pizza at sea, Princess chefs will also introduce a variety of anniversary pizzas such as Spicy Tomato & Shrimp, Potato, Bacon & Brie and Thai.
• Chocolate Journeys: As part of the new “Chocolate Journeys” experience, master pastry chef and chocolatier Norman Love has created two special 50th anniversary desserts that will be served to guests during their cruise vacations—Chocolate Raspberry Mousse with Vanilla Crème Brulee and Crunchy Shortbread or Moist Chocolate Dome with Raspberry Crème Brulée and Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse. The two desserts will alternate from one voyage to another.
• Cheers to 50 Years: Guests can sip inventive cocktails from renowned mixologist Spike Marchant along with drinks popular through the decades—from a classic martini to a pina colada. A special half-bottle anniversary-labeled Prosecco will be offered and the new Seawitch West Coast IPA craft beer brewed especially for the 50th anniversary will be available.
• Let Us Entertain You: A 50th celebration in the signature Piazza will feature a golden balloon drop and some balloons will feature surprise giveaway items hidden inside. A special anniversary song, “Here’s to Princess,” celebrating the line’s history will be performed. Guests can compete in exciting game shows and test their knowledge with the Princess Trivia Challenge—50th Anniversary edition. Plus, on select sailings, guests can dance to the music of tribute bands—like the Beatlemaniacs—bringing the greatest hits over the decades to life.
• 50th Anniversary Décor & Guest Giveaways: Anniversary décor and signage will be displayed from the time guests arrive in the terminal (domestic home ports only) and be visible through various onboard touches, including a spectacular anniversary display cake presented in the atrium. A 50th anniversary tote bag and commemorative time line will be placed in each stateroom upon embarkation. In addition, the 50th anniversary logo will appear on stateroom key cards and on the daily Princess Patter. A series of videos will play on stateroom televisions that share the company’s history and milestone moments. Each cruise ship in the fleet will also fly a 50th anniversary flag on the bow.
• Commemorative Keepsakes: The onboard boutiques will offer limited edition merchandise and exclusive offers during the anniversary celebration. In addition, the photographers will have commemorative backdrops and folios to capture the memories of guests’ cruise vacations.
Pre-cruise package, with tee-shirts,
lanyards, luggage tags & more
I love that Rubens said rock ’n roll became a soundtrack for the rest of our lives. Our iPods are filled with Malt Shop era tunes here at Cruise Diva headquarters so I may have to steal that line! I’m also happy to share with you that I have received personal assurance that the Malt Shop Memories Cruise will continue to sail for many years and there are exciting plans to expand the cruises as well. As always, I’ll keep you posted as I learn the details.
Question: You have been developing the lineup for the Malt Shop Memories Cruise since its inception six years ago. What goes into your thought process as you create the lineup? How do you decide who to have on each year?
Alan Rubens: I constantly check which Artists from the Malt Shop era are touring—how good their shows are, how enthusiastic they are to perform and mix and mingle with our cruisers. They need to have a great show and the right kind of personality to enjoy what we have on board. I try to mix it up each year and not repeat the previous year or years. I like to find a new Artist that we haven’t had before—like this year, we have The Temptations and Peter Noone.
Q: You have been the executive producer of many popular Time Life box sets—Rock ’n’ Roll Era, Flower Power, Soul of the ’70s, and of course, Malt Shop Memories. What was it about Malt Shop Memories music that gave you the idea to build that box set into a live entertainment event six years ago?
A.R.: The wonderful enthusiasm that our customers had toward this music. The Malt Shop era is a special time—it isn’t just the ’50s or the ’60s—it really is the late ’50s and early ’60s—a time when a great portion of the population was growing up—the real first baby boomers. It was the time between the birth of rock ’n roll and the British Invasion, and it really was a special time in American pop music—filled with great songs and great artists.
Q: Given all your knowledge of music, what do you think makes the music of this era, 1950s-60s rock ’n roll so special?
A.R.: There was a changing tide in the culture of teens back then. They were experiencing a new kind of freedom, desiring to make the things around us feel like it was really their own, not their parents’. And the music was exactly that—written by teenagers for teenagers, and it became a soundtrack for the rest of their lives.
Q: Is selecting a great entertainer for our cruise different than selecting entertainers for other live events, in your opinion? Is it number of hits/size of their catalog? Personality of the Artist? All the above?
A.R.: All of the above. Of course, we need Artists that people remember and whose songs have a special place in everybody’s memory, but they also have to understand what we have here: a community that grew up together and wants to honor those times, feel young again—and they need to be the kind of person who wants to share all those same feelings with the cruisers, be part of that community, and hang out and visit that special time with 2,000 like-minded friends.
Q: Have you ever been star-struck by an Artist you have brought on these cruises?
A.R.: Not really star-struck—I have known many of them for many years. But I am still in awe of so many of them and their tremendous talent and the effort they put into pleasing each and every fan at every show.
Q: Can you share with us now who you are working to get for 2015?
A.R.: I am working on making 2015, our sixth sailing, very special. Here are just a few names: Neil Sedaka, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell, The Four Tops, Chubby Checker, Little Anthony, Darlene Love, to name just a few …
Q: If I know a great addition, do you take suggestions?
A.R.: Happy to hear any and all suggestions.
-- La Cucina will continue to serve Norwegian’s authentic Tuscan-style Italian dishes to guests who choose to dine either al fresco on the outdoor patio on The Waterfront, in the main restaurant, or the terrace option, which is along the interior walkway beneath exposed wooden beams and greenery.Located between Cagney’s and Moderno, Prime Meridian will offer guests the opportunity to order a signature cocktail while they take in the action around them. Also on The Waterfront, Dolce Gelato will serve a selection of flavors of the frozen treat. Inside on deck 8 will be multiple shopping opportunities, the photo gallery, and the Humidor Cigar Lounge. A three-story open atrium with an exquisite LED chandelier with light changing effects will serve as the centerpiece of 678 Ocean Place, with openings to all three decks and floating glass staircases connecting the levels.
-- Moderno Churrascaria, Norwegian’s signature Brazilian-style steakhouse, will offer both indoor and outdoor dining on The Waterfront. Guests will feast from an extensive salad bar, followed by a variety of grilled and slow-roasted meats that are carved tableside by passadors.
-- Cagney’s Steakhouse will serve Certified Angus Beef® grilled steaks, double cut lamb chops, and other steakhouse favorites. Guests will dine amidst rich wood tones and modern details as chefs prepare their meals in the open kitchen or they can enjoy the sunset with Waterfront dining.