Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MSC Cruises Introduces North American Experience to the Mediterranean in Summer 2015

Cruisers here in the U.S.A. have grown so fond of MSC Divina that MSC Cruises is strengthening its commitment to serving the North American market in Europe by deploying the ship to the Mediterranean during the summer of 2015. The first of the line’s ships dedicated to North American travelers, MSC Divina will bring its signature service and onboard experiences tailored to American tastes to the most sought-after Mediterranean 7-night itineraries beginning May 16 through Oct 3, 2015.

“After exposing MSC Divina to thousands of guests in the Caribbean, customer surveys are showing an increased desire for North Americans to sail onboard MSC Divina in the Mediterranean,” said Richard E. Sasso, president, MSC Cruises USA. “The enhancements made at the start of the Caribbean season to ready MSC Divina for the North American market have certainly paid off with positive ratings and increased repeat business. This has led to our decision to maintain the MSC Divina onboard product designed around the senses of American taste, entertainment, and comfort and expand her offerings into the Mediterranean, the hottest and most desired vacation destination by North Americans today,” continued Sasso.

MSC Divina will begin her Grand Voyage on April 26, 2015, from Miami making a stop in New York, King's Wharf, Bermuda and then continuing onto Ponta Delgada, Lisbon, Cadiz, Barcelona, Naples and Civitavecchia. From May 16, 2015 through Sept 26, 2015, the ship will sail 7-night Mediterranean cruises departing from Civitavecchia and visiting the ports of La Spezia, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Naples and returning to Civitavecchia.

On Sept 26, 2015, MSC Divina will end her Mediterranean season with a unique 10-night sailing featuring additional calls in Tunisia, Malta, and Sicily. Highlights of MSC Divina’s Mediterranean season include:
• Ability to embark two marquee ports: Civitavecchia on Saturdays and Barcelona on Wednesdays, allowing for a customized vacation experience with outstanding pre- and post-cruise opportunities and ample airlift from the United States and Canada.
• Late night stays in La Spezia enabling guests to visit nearby cities of Pisa, Florence, Portofino and Cinque Terre.
• Call in Naples will allow time to visit Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast.
• An array of shore excursions allowing guests a full immersion into the region with experiences such as an architectural tour of the famed work Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, attending the Pope’s weekly Angelus on St. Peter’s Square in Rome, visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii, and much more.
Before returning back home to South Florida for a third season of 7-night Caribbean cruises in November 2015, MSC Divina will receive a series of renovations while in dry dock in Europe including some surprise enhancements specifically tailored to appeal to North American passengers. MSC Divina is currently sailing Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from PortMiami which continue through April 2015.

Now open for booking, MSC Divina's 2015 Mediterranean season offers special perks for guests who book by July 31, 2014, including an exclusive balcony upgrade and up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom. (Offer valid on all 7-night or more MSC Divina Mediterranean sailings.) For more information about MSC Cruises, visit

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Crystal Serenity Catches A Wave

Wikipedia defines rogue waves as "relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves that occur far out at sea, and are a threat even to large ships and ocean liners."

If you've ever been on a ship that's been hit by a rogue wave, it's a frightening experience. I know that first hand because our Renaissance cruise ship was smacked by one after leaving Civitivecchia more than a dozen years ago. It's an uncommon experience and usually results in broken plates in the ship's galley and sometimes broken bones if passengers are out and about when the wave strikes. We were seated in a lounge when the wave hit the R6 in the Mediterranean and the tilt was dramatic to say the least.

Luckily, for passengers aboard Crystal Serenity when a likely rogue wave hit the ship while en route to Monte Carlo a few nights ago, the wave occurred when most were likely asleep. On Saturday Crystal Cruises reported on their Facebook page, "Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Repairs have begun and the Crystal Dining Room is expected to be open for dinner. Many thanks to our wonderful crew for handling everything so smoothly and quickly."

Apparently repairs were accomplished in record time as passenger Keith Steiner subsequently posted on Sunday, "Kudos to the Crystal Crew who worked tirelessly to reopen the Crystal Dining Room for dinner last night. If we did not know about the incident, we would not have been aware of it when we entered the dining room. On top of this, some of the crew from the dining room who were up in the wee hours of the night were there last night working as hard as they do on each and every night to make the dining experience the best possible. To provide alternatives for those having lunch yesterday while the dining room was closed, Prego was open for lunch. Thankfully, the rogue wave hit around 1:30 AM and that no one was hurt."

Image Courtesy Crystal Cruises

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Trio of Carnival Ships to Make Galveston Their Home

Carnival Cruise Lines, which already homeports two ships in Galveston, will add a third year-round ship in the Texas port when Carnival Freedom launches a 7-day cruise schedule in February 2015. Marking the first time that a cruise line has deployed three year-round ships in Texas, Carnival’s repositioning of Carnival Freedom represents a 38 percent capacity increase for the line in Galveston, carrying more than 600,000 guests a year from that port, the most of any cruise operator. Prior to its arrival in Galveston, Carnival Freedom is undergoing a previously announced makeover that will add an array of innovative new features that are part of the line’s fleetwide Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement initiative.

Carnival Freedom will join Carnival Magic, which offers 7-day Caribbean cruises, and Carnival Triumph, sailing 4- and 5-day departures to Mexico. Together, these three ships will operate nearly 200 4- to 7-day voyages annually from Galveston, providing consumers with an array of cruise lengths, departure days, and itineraries for “Fun Ship” cruising from Texas.

“Galveston is already one of our most popular embarkation ports and with Carnival Freedom we’re not only dramatically expanding capacity in the market but also providing consumers with yet another exciting opportunity to experience our spectacular Fun Ship 2.0 innovations on a Texas-based ship,” said Gerry Cahill Carnival president and CEO. “In partnership with the Port of Galveston and the local community we have been able to increase our passenger counts five-fold since we first launched service from Galveston in 2000. Additionally, we are extremely grateful for the support of our travel agent partners who have played a key role in the growth of our Texas cruise program,” he added.

Carnival Freedom will kick off its new schedule from Galveston with a special 6-day Caribbean voyage to Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize; and Cozumel departing Feb. 15, 2015. Following the 6-day voyage, Carnival Freedom will launch year-round 7-day departures from Galveston Feb. 21, 2015, encompassing three different itinerary choices that visit beautiful ports throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida. Carnival Freedom’s week-long itineraries from Galveston include:
• Exotic western Caribbean voyages departing Saturdays to Cozumel; Belize; and Mahogany Bay, Roatan
• Western Caribbean voyages departing Saturdays with stops at Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel
• Eastern Caribbean sailings departing Saturdays visiting Key West, Fla.; and Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas
In addition, Carnival Freedom will offer a series of 4- and 5-day cruises from Oct. 24 through Nov. 21, 2015; and Jan. 16, 2016 through Feb. 13, 2016. Four-day cruises visit Cozumel, while 5-day cruises call at Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

Prior to its Galveston arrival, Carnival Freedom will sail a unique 12-day repositioning cruise departing Fort Lauderdale Feb. 2 and arriving in Galveston on Feb. 14, 2015. The one-time voyage will feature port calls at five Caribbean island destinations: St. Kitts, St. Lucia; Curacao; Aruba; and Grand Cayman, each of which boasts white-sand beaches, a variety of watersports opportunities, and an array of shopping, dining and sightseeing experiences.

Carnival Conquest, currently based in Miami, will assume Carnival Freedom’s year-round 6- and 8-day Caribbean schedule from Fort Lauderdale, beginning Jan. 18, 2015.

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Freedom’s new Galveston-based program. Carnival Conquest’s new sailings from Fort Lauderdale will open for booking on April 29. For additional information visit

Image: Carnival Freedom in Key West ©

Friday, April 25, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line Stirs Up Summer With Destination-Themed Cocktails

The arrival of summer this year calls for special cocktails to celebrate the end of a long and nasty winter and Norwegian Cruise Line is answering our call for fruity umbrella drinks and more by elevating the cruise ship cocktail and enhancing guests’ travel experience with an exciting new destination-based handcrafted summer beverage program.

Norwegian has announced that they have partnered with James Beard Award-nominated mixologist Gabriel Orta of Miami-based Bar Lab Cocktails to create five seasonal beverage menus focusing on local ingredients that celebrate popular summer destinations including Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe. In line with the classic cocktail culture resurgence seen in today’s land-based bars and restaurants, the onboard regional menus each feature four specialty cocktails created with traditional spirits and flavors relevant to the ships’ itineraries.

Recognized for their ingenious approach to the industry, the avant-garde cocktail programs created by Bar Lab have been awarded numerous professional honors and featured in publications worldwide. The summer menus designed by Bar Lab along with the Norwegian beverage development team feature avant-garde cocktails made with fresh juices, aromatic herbs and complementary local spirits. The new cocktails offer guests an advanced taste of the ship’s ports of call and further immerse them in the local culture.

When sailing to Bermuda on Norwegian Breakaway or Norwegian Dawn, guests can enjoy a traditional Dark & Stormy, with Bermuda’s own Gosling’s Rum and ginger beer, or sample a new take on a Mai Tai, featuring house-made almond syrup, Gosling’s Rum and dusted with powdered cinnamon. Cruisers in the Caribbean sailing onboard Norwegian Getaway or Norwegian Sky can try a Spicy Pina Punch, with Bacardi Superior Rum and chipotle pineapple syrup, or a unique Island Colada, featuring coconut cream, peach puree, and Bacardi Dark rum.

Distinct beverages on the Europe menu, which is served on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Spirit, and Norwegian Star, highlight Aperol, Campari, Hennessey, and Grand Marnier, while on Pride of America Hawaii cocktails include Whaler’s Dark rum and even Kona beer. Those guests experiencing an Alaskan cruise on Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jewel, or Norwegian Sun can warm up after exploring a glacier with a Smoky Hot Toddy, combining crème de cacoa, orange peel, cloves, bitters, and Grant’s scotch or a Northwest Java Jump with Patron XO Café, Chai tea, and cream.

Guests sailing with Norwegian this summer can enjoy these specialty cocktails from July 1–Sept 15. Norwegian will debut new menus featuring holiday cocktails in early November.

Image Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Regal Princess Completes Successful Sea Trials

With the completion of her sea trials, Princess Cruises' newest ship Regal Princess has accomplished another major milestone in preparation for her May 20th debut. The new cruise ship set out to sea from her construction dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and was put through her paces with a series of maneuvers to test her propulsion, steering and navigational equipment. After a successful five days of trials, the ship is now back in the shipyard for further exterior and interior finishing. Regal Princess will be ready for her maiden voyage from Venice, a 7-day Mediterranean cruise to Athens including stops in Corfu, Mykonos and an overnight call in Istanbul. Throughout the summer, the new ship will sail on Princess’ signature Grand Mediterranean cruises, with two itinerary choices.

Regal Princess, a sister ship to Royal Princess, will offer a variety of enticing features, including a soaring atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas; the Princess Live! television studio; a dedicated pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

Image Courtesy Princess Cruises

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Princess Cruises Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Nostalgic Sailing to Mexico

Before "The Love Boat" appeared on our television sets in the 1970s, Princess Cruises was making its mark on the cruise industry. Now, to cap a year of 50th anniversary activities, the line will celebrate the five decade mark in 2015 by creating a special Mexico itinerary departing on Dec 3, 2015, exactly 50 years to the day that the line's original ship, Princess Patricia, set sail on the company's very first cruise in 1965.

Offered on the intimate Pacific Princess, next year's unique sailing is the same length as the company's first cruise--14 days--and will include a blend of ports from the maiden itinerary such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Manzanillo, with some newer destinations such as La Paz and Loreto.

Guests on the cruise will be treated to an array of activities and entertainment commemorating half a century of cruising by the famous line, and will also be joined by some surprise guests. Our bet is that "Captain Steubing" will be on board, if not at the helm.

"This nostalgic cruise to Mexico will be the perfect finale to what's sure to be a special 50th anniversary year for Princess," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "For this significant milestone we couldn't resist recreating, with some new touches, the very first cruise our company operated. And because the name Pacific Princess is so integral to our company's history, we wanted to offer the cruise aboard the current ship with this iconic name."

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises first set sail in 1965 with a single ship cruising to Mexico. Nearly 50 years later, the line has grown to become the third largest cruise line in the world and a recognized leader in taking travelers to some of the most fascinating places around the globe. This anniversary sailing on Pacific Princess, which carries 670 guests, is available for sale on May 13 and additional information is available at

Image Courtesy Princess Cruises

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Holland America Line Introduces 'Dive-In At The Terrace Grill'

With Holland America Line's announcement that they are enhancing the Terrace Grill on their 15 premium ships and rebranding the popular lunch spot as "Dive-In at the Terrace Grill," I know where I'll be heading for lunch aboard Eurodam during The Malt Shop Memories Cruise this fall!

The outdoor bistro-style grill area by the ships' Lido pool will feature new signature burgers, hot dogs, and fries. The first ships to open the new gourmet grill were ms Eurodam, ms Amsterdam, and ms Maasdam. The remaining ships in the fleet will be opening Dive-In at the Terrace Grill throughout summer 2014. The areas will be decorated with new Dive-In signage and decor.

"We're always listening to our guests and travel partners for ideas to evolve the dining experience on our ships with new concepts, and the Dive-In is an exciting enhancement to our culinary offerings," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs for Holland America Line. "For a casual meal, Dive-In offers a delicious choice with a gourmet twist."

All of the signature burgers are hand-formed, freshly made beef patties featuring Holland America Line's secret Dive-In Sauce, chop-chop lettuce, and sliced tomato on a toasted brioche bun in addition to other accoutrements. Guests can choose from burgers such as The Gainer, which is served with a mound of crispy frizzled onions; The Cannonball with Gouda cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and sweet caramelized onions; and The High-Dive with cheddar cheese. Guests in the mood for chicken can choose The Back Flip chicken breast burger topped with guacamole and all the burger dressings, while vegetarians can sample The Freestyle, a vegetarian burger with grilled portabella mushroom topped with melting Gouda and cheddar cheeses, avocado, and Dive-In sauce.

Signature hot dogs feature Nathan's Famous all beef dogs, all served with Dive-In Sauce in a poppy-seed bun. The Dive-In Dog is topped with American-style mustard and a mound of crispy frizzled onions; The Dog Paddle is topped with sauerkraut, crispy bacon bits and German mustard, while The Dunkin' Dog is topped with melty cheese sauce, pickled jalapenos, and chopped red onions.

No hamburger or hot dog would be complete without Dive-In French Fries, and guests can order them three ways: traditional, topped with Dive-In Sauce, or smothered in melty cheese sauce.

Additional good food news is that the existing Taco Bar will continue to be available adjacent to the Dive-In at the Terrace Grill. Guests make their own taco with handmade tortillas or hard taco shells and a selection of popular condiments and fillings including chicken, beef and pork.

Image Courtesy Holland America Line

Monday, April 21, 2014

Camp Carnival Children's Program To Become Marine-Themed 'Camp Ocean'

Carnival Cruise Lines, a leader in family cruising, has unveiled Camp Ocean—an exciting, new marine-themed children's program coming to its fleet of 24 "Fun Ships." Set to debut May 24th on Carnival Freedom, the expansive new program will immerse children ages 2-11 in the wonders of the sea through fun, engaging and educational experiences. More than 200 new ocean-inspired activities will range from educational games such as Sea Creature Discovery, Marine Life Trivia, Under the Sea Mad Libs and Ocean Artifacts Memory Tray to creative arts opportunities such as Design Your Own Aquarium, Make Your Own Sailboat, Sea Salt Art, and Create a Penguin from Oreos.

Camp Ocean, which will replace the line's existing Camp Carnival program, will welcome youngsters in with light blue and white underwater colored spaces and friendly, experienced staff. Three age-related categories will each have their own identity: children ages 2-5 will be dubbed "Penguins," with those ages 6-8 called "Sting Rays" while 9-11 year olds will be "Sharks."

Distinctive areas and activities have been custom-created for each of the new age designations—from miniature play igloos for the Penguins to interactive gaming stations for the Sharks. On Carnival Freedom, which is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment, and Carnival Vista, which debuts in 2016, a new purpose-built Camp Ocean play area will include Party Reef, a common shared space that brings each of the groups together, as well as Creative Cove, a breakout room for arts and crafts activities.

"While our current children's program consistently gets very high marks, we've challenged ourselves to exceed expectations with a truly dynamic and diverse program for our youngest guests," said Mark Tamis, Carnival's senior vice president of guest operations. "With our new highly tailored age groupings and themed activities connected to the oceans and their fascinating underwater habitats, we're excited to invite kids to Camp Ocean to have an extra special and memorable Carnival vacation experience."

In developing the new Camp Ocean program, the company convened a Carnival Play Panel comprised of experts in child education, media and play to develop and curate the more than 200 new activities to resonate with today's children and to continually review and guide updates to the children's programming.

The new Camp Ocean activities span across 11 key categories of play, including the core themes of active play, games, free play, arts and crafts and digital, coupled with additional categories such as role play, music, party time, science and discovery, social and food fun, all designed to find the ideal combination of activities catering to children's varied interests.

Carnival will also introduce a Badge Challenge as part of Camp Ocean, which will provide the opportunity for kids to earn and collect badges as a special memento of their cruise. Badge challenges will include a variety of unique activities that provide an original way for kids to learn about their vessel, experience onboard adventures and gain a sense of accomplishment. After completing tasks which may include trying a new food, making an aquatic towel animal or riding the water slide, children will collect corresponding Camp Ocean badges.

The new Camp Ocean program builds upon Carnival's leadership position in family cruising with more than 700,000 kids expected to sail on Carnival ships in 2014. Another recently announced enhancement to the line's children's programming is a partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to introduce the family-focused Seuss at Sea, with youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences inspired by the amazing world and words of Dr. Seuss.

Rollout of Camp Ocean will begin aboard Carnival Freedom in May 2014 following a major refurbishment which will also include the line's first Dr. Seuss Bookville interactive reading venue. Camp Ocean will be introduced on Carnival Magic, Carnival Breeze, and Carnival Triumph later this year with the balance of the fleet implemented by 2016, including Carnival Vista, which is set to debut in early 2016.

Carnival's popular programs for tweens and teens, Circle C (for 12-14 year olds) and Club O2 (for 15-17 year olds) will continue across the fleet.

Images Courtesy Carnival Cruise Lines

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spectacular Entertainment For Regal Princess

Youngsters with a talented older sibling can relate to the upcoming launch of Regal Princess, the sister-ship of Princess Cruises' Royal Princess, which was christened with such fanfare just last year by godmother Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge. Next month's introduction of Regal Princess will be low key by comparison, but the new ship promises to be a near-clone, right down to the spectacular entertainment.

Take a look at Spectacular, a live stage show that is available only on board the Royal Princess and Regal Princess. Offering a lively night of entertainment from some of the world's most talented singers, dancers, and performers, Spectacular is a show you won't want to miss.

Additional information can be found at

Friday, April 18, 2014

China Syndrome: Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is Shanghai’ed

With its bumper cars, entertainment offerings that include the Broadway hit Mama Mia!, and newly announced dining options all rolled out with great fanfare, it seemed that Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas was designed with features to specifically appeal to North American cruisers. The line even has had popular American television interior designer Genevieve Gorder collaborating on some of the décor. Additionally, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey approved Royal Caribbean’s plans to build a new $70 million cruise terminal and parking facilities at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey to prepare for the highly anticipated ship’s arrival.

However, in a startling twist, Royal Caribbean has tossed a “gotcha” into the future homeporting of their newest vessel—beginning in May 2015, Quantum of the Seas will make its homeport in Shanghai (Baoshan), China, ‘to bring the company’s most innovative ship to the world’s fastest-growing cruise market.’ Quantum of the Seas will reposition to China in May 2015, following her inaugural winter season sailing out of Cape Liberty to the Caribbean. In China, Quantum of the Seas will join Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66 percent.

“Consumers in China have grown to expect the best the world has to offer, and Quantum of the Seas meets that standard like no other ship,” said Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “We are ready to accelerate the growth of this vital market with a ship that will capture the imagination of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Every trend we are seeing in China tells us we can achieve real long-term competitive advantage and appealing returns on our investments in this fast-growing market by accelerating our presence there. We will have to be nimble, but the ability to move fast is one of our strengths.” In addition, Goldstein noted that the company was able to make the move because its new-ship pipeline will keep the New York region supplied with top-rated ships as well. “We are very mindful of the importance of New York, which is why we are bringing Liberty of the Seas and then Anthem of the Seas to this market.”

Does that mean that North Americans do not “expect the best the world has to offer” in the minds of Royal Caribbean executives? It’s a here today, gone tomorrow scenario—with cruise travelers accustomed to sailing on the newest ships from South Florida suffering the brunt of the implied insult because, at least for the immediate future, there will be no Quantum-class ship based there as Anthem of the Seas will homeport in Cape Liberty instead of Fort Lauderdale as previously announced. For Royal Caribbean to disappoint their loyal passengers—who looked forward to sailing a second Quantum-class from North America—and to snub the South Florida region that has traditionally been the world’s cruise capital is a striking development.

“These incredible ships will meet the sophisticated expectations of consumers in Shanghai, New York, and London. Our mantra for the new Quantum class of ships is ‘this changes everything’ and upping our game in these key markets achieves just that,” said Dominic Paul, Vice President International, Royal Caribbean International. “Our distinctive style of high quality innovative cruises has become known to travelers around the world and we will continue to deploy our most technologically advanced ships where the demand is, with the expectation of winning new converts to cruising.”

Is there no demand in North America for top-rated and technologically advanced ships? We doubt that inferred assumption, as well as the unsaid suggestion that North America—outside the northeast region—is no longer a key market, but only time will tell.

Quantum of the Seas will debut in November 2014, and spend its inaugural season sailing from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, before repositioning to China in May 2015. Beginning late June 2015, the ship will sail 3- to 8-night itineraries year-round from Shanghai to Japan and Korea. Liberty of the Seas will then arrive to Cape Liberty to sail to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Canada and New England for the 2015 summer and autumn seasons. The Freedom-class ship will be the company’s newest and largest ship to offer cruises to Bermuda from the New York-metropolitan area. Finally, Quantum of the Seas’ sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, which launches in April 2015, will complete her inaugural Europe season from London (Southampton), UK, before arriving to Cape Liberty in November 2015 to continue Quantum-class cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter 2015-16 season.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Three New Artists Join Norwegian Getaway’s Grammy® Experience

Norwegian Cruise Line welcomes the next three artists that will perform on board Norwegian Getaway’s GRAMMY® Experience at Sea: Sugar Blue, a GRAMMY-Award-winning harmonica dynamo; Carolyn Malachi, a GRAMMY-nominated soul-fusion artist; and Roddie Romero, a GRAMMY®-nominated Louisiana artist.

When Sugar Blue joined Norwegian Getaway on April 12, 2014, he began dazzling guests with his incredible harmonica mastery. Known as the Jimi Hendrix and Charlie Parker of the harmonica, his style is melodically fluid and instantly recognizable. Born in Harlem, New York, his fate was sealed when he received a harmonica for his 10th birthday and since then he has been performing worldwide. Blue feels music deeply, as part of the human experience, and he is excited to share his gift with guests sailing on board Norwegian Getaway through June 14, 2014.

Carolyn Malachi, famous for her popular brand of soul music, emerged as a star following the release of her GRAMMY-nominated single, “Orion,” in 2011. Her unique spoken-word meets hip-hop, R&B and jazz-fusion style of music intoxicates listeners and takes them on an inspiring musical journey. Guests will be delighted and inspired by Malachi’s incredible sound and inspirational lyrics while cruising on Norwegian Getaway from June 15 through Aug 1, 2014.

Following Carolyn Malachi, Roddie Romero, a renowned, GRAMMY-nominated Louisiana artist who has been performing internationally for over 20 years, will join Norwegian Getaway. Known for his authentic, traditional Cajun and zydeco music, this Louisiana-roots rocker puts on show guaranteed to get guests in Norwegian Getaway’s GRAMMY Experience at Sea on their feet and dancing. Romero is no stranger to cruising; he recently performed on board Norwegian Pearl during Cayamo, one of the line’s music festival series events in partnership with Sixthman. Romero will perform on Norwegian Getaway from Aug 2 through Aug 30, 2014.

Image Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Legendary Rock Band Styx Goes LIVE With Carnival

Carnival officially launched their one-of-a-kind Carnival LIVE Concert Series last week with sold-out performances by world-renowned rock band Styx. Fans packed the show lounges on Carnival Fantasy and Carnival Fascination for live performances that brought audiences to their feet.

Tommy Shaw, guitarist for Styx, commented, “All I know is our boats were rockin’. We had a great time and it looked like our fans loved it, too. Can’t wait to do it again in the fall in Nassau and then in Catalina Island and Cozumel.”

Take a look at the excitement on board...

The Carnival LIVE Concert Series offers guests sailing on select Carnival Cruise Lines ships the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive onboard performance by a diverse roster of popular music artists while ships are docked at a port of call. Carnival has booked 49 performance dates for the 2014 concert series with the following artists:
• 38 Special
• Chicago
• Daughtry
• Foreigner
• Gavin DeGraw
• Jennifer Hudson
• Jewel
• Kansas
• Lady Antebellum
• LeAnn Rimes
• Martina McBride
• Olivia Newton-John
• REO Speedwagon
• Trace Adkins
Performances are scheduled on board eight Carnival ships that call in the following ports: Cozumel, Mexico; Nassau, the Bahamas; and Catalina Island, California. Artists join the ship while in port, perform in the main show lounge that evening, and debark following their show.

Tickets cost $20-40 each and a limited number of VIP tickets are also available for each show for $100-$150 each. The VIP experience includes an artist meet and greet, complimentary photo with the band, seating in the first three rows and a commemorative laminated concert pass. All tickets can be purchased through Carnival’s online shore excursion system prior to sailing, or on board participating ships at the shore excursion desk based on availability.

For a preliminary list of ships, sailings, and concert dates, see 'Carnival LIVE Concert Series' here on Cruise Diva’s Blog. To view full list of 2014 Carnival LIVE concert dates, visit When planning, take note that the dates are subject to change and are the dates when the concert itself takes place, not the date the sailing begins.

Video Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Carnival Dream Sails On Inaugural Cruise From The Big Easy

The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, the largest cruise ship to homeport in New Orleans year-round, departed on its inaugural 6-day cruise yesterday afternoon from the newly refurbished Erato Street Cruise Terminal, which underwent a $2.3 million upgrade to accommodate a ship as large as the 130,000-ton vessel. Solidifying the line's distinction as New Orleans' largest cruise operator, Carnival Cruise Lines now bases two ships carrying more than 400,000 passengers annually from the port. Carnival Dream joins Carnival Elation, which sails year-round 4- and 5-day cruises to Mexico from New Orleans, the sixth largest cruise port in the U.S. as ranked by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

The special inaugural voyage is set to visit Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), and Cozumel. Carnival Dream's next move is to launch year-round 7-day service from New Orleans beginning April 20th by offering three distinctly different itineraries: western Caribbean cruises visiting Montego Bay, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman; or Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Belize and Cozumel; and a Bahamas/Florida route calling at Key West, Freeport, and Nassau.

"New Orleans is one of our most popular homeports and Carnival Dream provides vacationers with a spectacular 'Fun Ship' cruise option from the Big Easy offering an incredible array of on-board innovations," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival's president and CEO.

The 1,004-foot-long Carnival Dream offers a host of on-board features, including WaterWorks with a 303-foot-long Twister water slide, among the longest at sea, as well as a 23,750-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa, a half-mile outdoor promenade with whirlpools that extend out over the ship's sides, and more than two dozen bars, restaurants, and lounges, including the poolside RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar. Carnival Dream also includes an indoor/outdoor cafe/live entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza as well as the Seaside Theatre, a 270-square-foot LED screen displaying concerts, sporting events, and nightly Dive-In Movies.

Also featured is a Punchliner Comedy Club with nearly two dozen family-friendly and adult-oriented comedy shows per voyage. Carnival Dream also offers fun, supervised activities for children in three age groups and later this year will add Seuss at Sea, part of a fleetwide partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises featuring exciting youth, family, dining, and entertainment experiences inspired by the world of Dr. Seuss.

A variety of spacious accommodations are also available, with dozens of suites and a wide selection of balcony staterooms, including unique cove balconies located closer to the water that offer outstanding sea views. There are also ocean view staterooms with a full bath plus separate wash room and five-berth staterooms, which are ideal for families.

Image Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quantum of the Seas Floats Out

It wasn't that long ago that the final building block was moved into position, making it possible for Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship to have water beneath her hull for the first time just last week. As you can see from the photo above, Quantum of the Seas was floated out in the building dock at the MEYER WERFT shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

In November of this year the 167,800-ton, 4,180-passenger Quantum of the Seas—the first of the Quantum-class vessels—is scheduled to launch her maiden season from Cape Liberty, located in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cruise Diva Talks About River Venture

If a picture is worth a thousand words—as my mother used to say—then video must be worth a million or more.

You may recall that the Cruise Diva and Mel were aboard Vantage Deluxe Travel's ms River Venture for the Inaugural Seine Sailing a month ago. While on board, I was asked to talk about the experience and I'm happy to share the journey here.

For an in-depth look at River Venture, Cruise Diva shares Rolling on the River Seine.

Video Courtesy of Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Friday, April 11, 2014

More World Cup Soccer At Sea With Costa

With the popularity of World Cup soccer, it's no surprise that another cruise line will be televising it for their passengers. During the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer championships taking place in Brazil June 12 to July 13, Costa Cruises plans to show live television broadcasts of matches onboard its fleet of 14 ships around the world. The line also has designed a variety of themed activities to celebrate the festive atmosphere surrounding the world's most popular sporting event. Depending on the timing of matches and the nationalities playing, games will be broadcast in different shipboard venues, such as the big screen located on the Magrodome pool deck and in the main show lounge.

Costa Cruises also has planned a range of themed activities to engage football fans and guests who want to support their national team and enjoy championship soccer in the company of friends and new acquaintances from around the world. During the day, creative guests will be encouraged to customize T-shirts or create banners with their favorite team's colors and slogans. There also will be group activities like soccer tournaments. Sports enthusiasts also can enjoy a game of freestyle soccer ball dribbling or take samba lessons with a Brazilian dance teacher to learn how celebrate their team's goals with an enthusiastic gesture. For those who prefer to cheer while sitting by the pool, Costa Cruises has created a series of fun World Cup trivia quizzes with exclusive prizes.

Costa Cruises' rich entertainment program includes flash-mob Brazilian dances to the tune of the official World Cup anthem, Brazilian-style appetizers with a Caipirinha—Brazil's national cocktail—and election of "Mister World Cup 2014." For more information, visit

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FIFA World Cup Goes To Sea This Summer Aboard Norwegian’s Fleet

In partnership with the TV channel SPORT 24, Norwegian Cruise Line is providing soccer fans with the chance to follow the FIFA World Cup™ while on board Norwegian ships this summer.

World football’s flagship event will be held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13, 2014 and Norwegian will be screening the biggest matches fleet-wide. The partnership with the SPORT 24 will ensure that key games from the tournament matches will be available on board throughout the competition. This means that football fans can have the best of both worlds, a relaxing cruise vacation without missing one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. Norwegian will be showcasing key matches in multiple venues onboard each ship, so guests will have plenty of options to relax and enjoy their vacation, while experiencing a great sporting atmosphere onboard.

Fans can enjoy the games onboard all of Norwegian’s purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, including Miami’s Ultimate Ship, Norwegian Getaway, sailing 7-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami, or onboard Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway’s sister-ship and the ship that brings the best of NYC to Sea, setting sail from the Big Apple to Bermuda.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Carnival Plans Longer Cruises Between Galveston & San Juan in 2015-16

Cruises from Galveston, Texas usually follow a familiar route to nearby ports of call in Mexico, Jamaica, and Grand Cayman, which can become monotonous for repeat passengers who prefer to sail from that homeport. To mix things up and add variety to their itineraries, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering 10- and 11-day cruises between Galveston and San Juan featuring visits to six different Caribbean destinations on one itinerary. Two 11-day cruises sail from Galveston to San Juan Oct. 24, 2015, and Jan. 16, 2016, and two 10-day cruises from San Juan to Galveston depart Nov. 4, 2015, and Jan. 27, 2016.

These longer-length tropical itineraries feature an array of interesting Caribbean ports and are a first in terms of Carnival’s Texas-based cruise program, which also includes year-round 4-and 5-day Mexico cruises and 7-day Caribbean itineraries. A number of the ports featured on the 10- and 11-day voyages are among the most pristine, unique, and less visited islands in the Caribbean. Those are combined with several of the region’s most popular destinations to create attractive and diverse itineraries that provide the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of islands featuring gorgeous beaches, turquoise waters, and endless sightseeing, shopping, and water sports activities.

Also offered for the first time on a Carnival itinerary is Bonaire, which is featured on 11-day cruises. An island nestled in the Dutch Antilles, Bonaire is known for its brightly colored scenery and some of the best diving in the world. Other islands on these new itineraries rarely visited by Carnival ships include Antigua, Grenada, and Martinique—all known for stunning scenery and a relaxing Caribbean ambiance.

“These 10- and 11-day cruises on Carnival Triumph provide vacationers even more opportunities to explore tropical destinations, relax on beautiful white-sand beaches and enjoy world-class snorkeling, scuba diving and watersports,” said Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill. “Plus, at our Carnival Conversations events travel agents have indicated that they would like to see a greater variety of itinerary choices, particularly longer cruises from the Gulf region, so these new voyages from Galveston are a great new option for agents to market to their clients,” he added.
The 11-day voyages on Carnival Triumph originate in Galveston and include stops at Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Martinique, and St. Maarten with the voyage ending in San Juan.

The 10-day San Juan-to-Galveston itinerary calls at St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Antigua, Grand Turk, and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay.
With non-repeating ports on the two different itineraries, guests who wish to take an even longer Carnival getaway can book back-to-back cruises and experience a memorable three-week voyage roundtrip from Galveston that visits all of these magnificent destinations. For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Lucky MSC Divina Passenger Will Win a Fiat 500c Pop Vehicle

MSC Cruises has teamed up with FIAT once again to bring Italian style to North American cruisers with the announcement of a first-ever joint promotion where one lucky guest will win a brand new FIAT 500c POP, with a retail value of more than $21,000. This chic and fun-to-drive small convertible blends Italian design with precision engineering, creating one of the hottest cars on the market.

Guests are automatically entered in the giveaway when they book a 7-night Caribbean cruise on board MSC Divina during the promotional period of April 7 to May 18, 2014, and sail between Aug 2, 2014 and Dec 27, 2014. One grand prize winner will be selected at random and announced as part of a holiday celebration in mid-December of this year.

“The FIAT partnership has been so much fun, especially when the fleet of FIAT 500 watercrafts escorted the MSC Divina to her new home at the port of Miami last fall,” said Richard E. Sasso, president of MSC Cruises USA. “Now, MSC Cruises and FIAT are delighted to give our passengers the opportunity to continue to enjoy the ‘Mediterranean Way of Life’ after their cruise in a new FIAT 500c POP.”

When MSC Divina arrived in PortMiami on Nov 20, 2013, she become the first Fantasia class ship to sail from North America and the first MSC Cruises ship to offer year-round Caribbean sailings. Divinely inspired by Sophia Loren, the godmother of the MSC fleet, MSC Divina offers stunning new features, such as two Eataly restaurants—the upscale Ristorante Italia and spectacular regional Eataly Steakhouse fashioned after the famed restaurant in Eataly’s Manhattan location—and artisanal marketplace, and is the first ship to offer Aqua Cycling at sea. The 1,751-cabin ship boasts 322,900 square feet of public spaces including 18 bars and lounges, five swimming pools, a bowling alley, gym and exotic Aurea Spa, 4D Theater, a Formula 1 racecar simulator, and a new Segafredo Zanetti gourmet coffee bar.

MSC Divina also features the MSC Yacht Club, an innovative “ship-within-a-ship” concept with 69 suites on board. MSC Yacht Club guests can indulge in comfort and convenience, from their own personal Butler and 24-hour concierge service to complimentary wines and spirits available any time of the day throughout MSC Yacht Club’s exclusive lounges and pool area. For a first-hand look at MSC Divina, see Cruise Diva’s report at MSC Divina, So Divine.

One entry will be awarded for each new cruise booking made between April 7 and May 18, 2014, with a limit of two entries per household. Consumers must be 18 years or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States (D.C.) or Canada (except Quebec) to enter. For official rules and entry information, visit

Monday, April 7, 2014

CATS Takes To The Sea

Successful Broadway shows often spin off touring companies that take the shows to audiences in far-flung cities and now they are taking their “road” companies even further—to the sea.

When Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas launched in 2009, the ship also launched the line’s introduction of Broadway shows to the fleet with Hairspray. As a successor to that popular show, Royal Caribbean is bringing aboard one that is even more acclaimed—the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of CATS. Based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” CATS was one of the longest running productions on Broadway and is the winner of numerous awards including seven Tonys, two Oliviers, and a Grammy. The show has been seen in over 20 countries and translated into more than 10 languages. It also happens to be a favorite with the Cruise Diva crew, who has seen it twice. The fully licensed production of CATS will join Oasis of the Seas once it completes its drydock in fall 2014.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Really Useful Group to bring one of the world’s most beloved musicals to Oasis of the Seas,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Adding CATS to our already amazing line up of Broadway musicals such as Hairspray, Chicago: The Musical, Saturday Night Fever, and Mamma Mia exemplify our commitment to bringing top quality entertainment to our guests at no extra cost.”

Oasis of the Seas features exclusive amenities and concepts throughout its seven themed neighborhoods, such as an 82 foot-long zip line, a handcrafted carousel, the Rising Tide elevating bar, the Aquatheater high-diving performance venue, and Central Park with more than 12,000 live trees and plants. Oasis of the Seas also offers amenities that can only be found on Royal Caribbean, such as twin FlowRider surf simulators, cantilevered whirlpools, an ice-skating rink, the H20 Zone kids aquapark, and the Royal Promenade, an interior boulevard that stretches nearly the length of the ship and flanked by restaurants, lounges and boutiques, among many others. For additional information, visit

Friday, April 4, 2014

“Vaping” Afloat

Cruise lines and their passengers are accustomed to controversy. Among some of the most heated topics of conversation in regard to cruise travel is the preference of some for “traditional” dining seatings versus the open seating or “anytime” dining option that appeals to many others. However, that topic pales by comparison to the one that rages between smokers and non-smokers.

In a nod to a cleaner, safer, and healthier atmosphere on board, most cruise lines have severely curtailed smoking on their vessels. Ships have caught up to the rest of the hospitality industry and the smoking lamp has gone out in all restaurants and showrooms at sea, as well as many of their bars and lounges. Nearly all accommodations and most private balconies are also smoke-free zones. While casinos are one of the last bastions of smokers, some have a “smoke-free” night to clear the air or restrict smoking to certain areas. We detail those policies in “Smoke on the Water.”

While cigarette smokers find it’s more difficult to locate a place to light up during a cruise, a new wrinkle has been added—“electronic cigarettes” that are now in wide use by smokers who don’t want to offend others or who are trying to cut back on or quit smoking traditional tobacco filled cigarettes. If you aren’t familiar with them, electronic cigarettes—also known as a personal vaporizer, an e-cig, or e-cigarette—are battery powered devices that heat a liquid containing various strengths of nicotine to produce vapor. The vapor is inhaled by the user and acts as a nicotine delivery system. E-cig enthusiasts enjoy the act of “smoking” without the smoke, ash, combustion, or odor of traditional tobacco cigarettes.

Some personal vaporizers look like a traditional cigarette, but others have a unique appearance—they have been likened to a “sharpie” type marker with a cigarette holder at one end (illustrated above). They remind me of the old-fashioned cigarette holders once so prominently used by actresses in black-and-white movies (think Bette Davis). The act of “vaping,” or inhaling the vapor, allows the user to get a small hit of nicotine in smoke-free places. The amount of nicotine contained in an e-cigarette can be controlled by the user who can buy it in varying strengths, which makes the e-cig an effective method to stop smoking.

From what I’ve seen recently online, there is a lot of misinformation about e-cigs and vaping in public. The inhaled vapor does contain a small amount of nicotine, but the exhaled vapor is not second-hand smoke. In fact, it isn’t smoke at all. What it is is a liquid vapor that is often flavored like coffee, chocolate, spices, and fruits. If any scent is detected at all, it is that flavoring. For users who’ve gradually cut their nicotine use to nothing, but haven’t eliminated the physical hand-to-mouth habit associated with smoking, there are flavored liquids that contain no nicotine at all.

The jury is still out in terms of whether or not vaping an e-cig is harmful to others, but Russell Wilder, owner of Top Shelf Cigar & Tobacco Shoppe, who vapes when he doesn’t have time to enjoy a cigar, advises that e-cigs are far less harmful to the user than actual cigarettes. Although the liquid added to a personal vaporizer contains nicotine, it does not contain the other chemicals commonly found in tobacco cigarettes.

For our fellow passengers who are sniping that the vapor from an e-cig disturbs their breathing, that children should not see e-cigs in use because they ‘mimic’ actual smoking, and a variety of other complaints, I say hold on a moment and educate yourselves. Cigarette smoke has been eliminated for the most part on cruise ships and non-smokers should be pleased. They should also use some common sense when rallying to ban what offends them—sooner or later something they enjoy could be considered offensive. And those who choose to vape? They should be considerate of the rules. Some cruise lines are paying attention to their passengers’ comments and taking the position that e-cigs should be treated the same as traditional cigarettes. In fact, Norwegian Cruise Line states, “Electronic cigarettes cannot be used in public areas where there is a No Smoking policy in force; simply because these cigarettes look so realistic and therefore other guests’ perception is that we are not enforcing the No Smoking rule.”

Of note and in fairness, I must disclose that I’m not personally bothered by smokers. My husband Mel usually relaxes with a cigar after dinner while I go to the showlounge and I often join him when the show is over. We personally prefer ships with comfortable cigar lounges that suit our lifestyle. Mel’s favorites are aboard Silversea and MSC Cruises ships.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quantum of the Seas Reaches a Milestone

Royal Caribbean International's Quantum of the Seas reached a milestone in its construction this week as the final block was moved into position.

Fun Fact From Royal Caribbean: The block construction process is a popular method used for today's ship building, which involves the joining of the hull and deck of a vessel together. The pieces are prefabricated at different locations and then lifted and welded into place.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Crystal Cruises Guests Set Sail For The Heart Of Monte Carlo's Fast Lane

Vroom! Vroom! Get your motor ready for Crystal Cruises' own royal treatment at the 72nd annual Monaco Grand Prix. Two posh and intimate Crystal Adventures will be offered during Crystal Serenity's 12-day luxury Mediterranean cruise, departing May 18 from Venice to Barcelona. Thanks to a May 25th shipboard overnight in Monte Carlo, guests can celebrate one of the world's most prestigious races via prime grandstand seats in the heart of the action during the day and a new Boutique Adventure, possibly hob-knobbing with the winners at a VIP F1 party all night.
Exclusive Grandstand Experience: Cheer with Formula 1 fans from around the world, in a prime grandstand location near the roaring start/finish line and extra Crystal touches to enhance guests' comfort, including catered lunch, cushioned seating, ear protection, souvenir mementos, hosts providing commentary while guiding guests to the race, and staff nearby to assist throughout the day.

VIP Nightclubbing at the Amber Lounge (Boutique Adventure): Crystal will have a limited number of VIP tables with flowing Dom Perignon and dancing until 6 am (plus luxury transportation all night) at F1's exclusive after-party, where drivers, celebrities, and royalty often gather post-race.
"From a Crystal Adventure that captures the interests of racing enthusiasts to a Boutique Adventure that excites those seeking intimate VIP experiences, we've crafted 'bucket list' options that offer unique perspectives of, and access to, the glamour and pageantry of this World Class event,." says John Stoll, vice president of land programs.

With additional overnights in Venice and Barcelona, Crystal's only 2014 call to Kotor, Montenegro, and additional calls to Italy's Sicily/Taormina, Sorrento, Rome/Civitavecchia, and Florence/Livorno, the itinerary offers time in both the Mediterranean's post popular port cities and Southern Europe's more hidden gems.

Image Courtesy Crystal Cruises

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SeaDream Yacht Club Plans Wine Education Voyages

Whether you are a connoisseur or just want to gain more knowledge about wine, one of SeaDream Yacht Club’s four niche Wine Voyages—which includes a special Wine Education Voyage—may be just the cruise for you. These experiences add to the two mega-yachts’ innovative culinary and beverage program, which features the first and only full raw cuisine menu onboard as well as showcasing local delicacies from ports of call. SeaDream most recently introduced a new Scandinavian menu for summer 2014 Northern Europe voyages that features reindeer, moose and fish caught from local fisherman daily.

“The cuisine onboard SeaDream Yacht Club continues to receive rave reviews from past guests as our culinary team incorporates local ingredients of the ports we visit as only possible sailing with 112 guests,” shares SeaDream Yacht Club President Bob Lepisto. “Our new Wine Voyages build on this tradition by pairing legendary vineyards with expert instructors and winemakers to truly develop a one-of-a-kind experience at sea.”

SeaDream I and SeaDream II will sail the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines on three Wine Voyages, visiting the most exclusive harbors in Italy, Spain and Portugal’s renowned wine country. Each voyage will offer heightened experiences for beginners and veteran oenophiles with itineraries that have been expertly developed by SeaDream’s Wine Director, Erica Landin, one of Sweden’s most internationally recognized wine writers.

Activities onboard the voyages include visits to high-quality vineyards in the world’s most exclusive wine destinations; informal and formal tastings of local varietals; wine master classes and a special Winemaker’s Dinner, in which a local grower or winery owner shares treasures from their own cellars. The exceptional Wine Education Voyage will take place during a 12-day transatlantic crossing from Lisbon to San Juan. This voyage will commence with a visit to Portugal’s oldest table-wine winery. The itinerary includes in-depth lectures, tastings and discussions with experts and special guest winemaker, Dorli Muhr.

SeaDream’s Fall 2014 Wine Voyage itineraries:
• Seven-day Rome to Athens Wine Voyage, departing Sept 20, 2014 aboard SeaDream I; including an overnight in Capri, and visiting Taormina in Sicily and the Greek isle destinations of Fiskardo, Itsa and Hydra.
• Seven-day Monte Carlo to Rome Wine Voyage, departing Sept 27, 2014 aboard SeaDream II; visiting St. Tropez, Calvi and Bastia in France, and docking in Italy’s Cinque Terre, Elba and Porto Santo Stefano harbors.
• 10-day Barcelona to Lisbon Wine Voyage, departing Oct 18, 2014 aboard SeaDream II; including two overnights in Malaga and Seville, Spain. This voyage visits Ibiza, Valencia, Cartagena and Cadiz in Spain, as well as Tangier (Morocco) and Portimao (Portugal).
• 12-day Lisbon to San Juan Wine Education Voyage, departing Oct 28, 2014 aboard SeaDream II; commences with winery tour in Lisbon and includes an afternoon visit to the Madeira Islands before embarking on a transatlantic crossing that features an incredible schedule of wine programming.
Image Courtesy SeaDream Yacht Club