Friday, July 29, 2016

Explore the Mississippi on a Riverboat This Fall

The Mississippi is the world’s mightiest and most interesting river and it’s time to consider exploring the dramatic landscapes that have long inspired artists, writers, and steamboat passengers on one of the American Queen Steamboat Company’s 9-day voyages to the river’s upper reaches this fall. From St. Louis to St. Paul, the river is rich with frontier tales of fur traders and pioneers set among picturesque geography and abundant wildlife. Hidden gems around each bend fuel guests’ sense of discovery as the very best of America’s Heartland unfolds before their eyes. Plus, the fall foliage along the river can rival any in the country.

“River Cruising is a unique blend of American beauty and history, acclaimed cuisine, lively showboat-style entertainment, and the adventure of exploring Mark Twain’s riverside America,” says Ted Sykes, President of American Queen Steamboat Company. “Guests will discover a side of our country that few ever see, from the indescribable perspective of the river.”

These are the Upper Mississippi River Voyages aboard the American Queen during the fall 2016 season:
• Big Band Swing, Memphis to St. Louis (Alton): Sept. 11-19
What better way to start this voyage than an overnight stay amidst the rich musical heritage of Memphis, Tenn.? This sentimental sailing includes nightly dancing accompanied by the 13-piece Great American Swing Band with instructors on hand for those with clumsy feet. Guests can also enjoy onboard lectures from expert historians and special onboard guest entertainment. Ports of call include New Madrid, Mo., Paducah, Ky., Cape Girardeau, Mo. Chester, Ill., and Alton, Ill.
• Autumn Colors, St. Louis (Alton) to St. Paul (Red Wing): Oct. 2-10
Each autumn, nature takes out her paintbrush and splashes vibrant colors across the land with white church steeples poking up amidst the splendor. On this voyage, guests will have a chance to enjoy fall foliage in all its glory and towns that come alive with the bounty of the harvest and a generosity of spirit reflected in the smiles of the locals who greet them in every port. In Wisconsin and Minnesota, wildlife takes center stage both on and above the rolling hills and limestone bluffs that cradle the river on its journey through the Heartland. Ports of call include Alton, Ill., Hannibal, Mo., Clinton, Iowa, Dubuque, Iowa, and La Crosse, Wis.
Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, the 9-day Upper Mississippi journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner, and a host of other amenities.

The American Queen Steamboat Company owns and operates the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, and St. Paul. In April 2014, American Queen Steamboat Company began serving the Pacific Northwest with opulence and grandeur on the American Empress.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line's First Ship for China to Feature Hull Artwork By Chinese Artist Tan Ping

Spotting a Norwegian Cruise Line Ship from afar is easy—the distinctive artwork on each ship's hull is hard to miss. Not only is it visible from long distance, but each work of hull art is meaningful. So, it comes as no surprise that the line has commissioned renowned Chinese artist Tan Ping to design the artwork to be featured on the hull of its soon to-be-unveiled Breakaway-Plus class vessel Norwegian Joy. Scheduled for release in Summer 2017, with home porting in Shanghai and Beijing, Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian's first ship that is purpose-built for the Chinese market to deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy 'First Class at Sea' experiences, starting with her VIP accommodations. Tan Ping's distinctive artwork will serve to underscore Norwegian Cruise Line's commitment to providing an unparalleled cruise experience for Chinese consumers.

A painter, printmaker, and educator, Tan Ping straddles the worlds of both art and design. His abstract paintings and copper plate etchings are in the collections of such renowned museums as The National Art Museum of China; Portland Art Museum, USA; Ludwig Museum, Germany; and The Shanghai Art Museum. Tan Ping also enjoys the distinction of having led and directed a team of designers from Central Academy of Fine Arts to complete the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Image and Landscape Design Project. His subject for Norwegian Joy is the phoenix, an iconic mythical bird believed to reign supreme over all birds of the world. It is a ubiquitous motif in Chinese art and can be found throughout the centuries in paintings, silk brocades, architectural flourishes, and more.

"The Phoenix symbolizes beauty and good luck in Chinese culture, and Norwegian Joy will bridge across the West and the East and bring Chinese people's best wish to the world and everyone in her path," said Tan Ping.

Tan's modernistic design is simple, yet graceful, as flowing lines simultaneously convey forward movement and majestic poise. The artwork's color palette is dominated by red and yellow, traditionally the two most regal colors in China. Red signifies joy, a perfect match for a ship of the very same name. Yellow represents grandeur, the feeling that a ship of this size evokes in those who see it. The design also includes hints of blue, signifying the sea. These three colors are also primary colors, the starting point for all other colors in the spectrum of visible light. Through this subtle reference, Tan conveys the sense of an auspicious beginning to an unforgettable voyage.

"We are incredibly honored to be partnering with Professor Tan Ping," says David Herrera, President, Norwegian Cruise Line China. "Tan Ping’s ability to design concepts that easily blend traditional Chinese culture with moving and changing aspects of life is inspiring. He has perfectly captured the feel of Norwegian Joy as a luxurious, technologically advanced ship while honoring traditional Chinese values. The hull art embodies the essence of the best of The East meshing perfectly with the best of The West.”

Norwegian Joy will see the vision of the Phoenix artwork transferred to a medium of enormous scale on the hull of this unique ship. "This design is by far my largest artwork," says Tan. "Traveling worldwide on Norwegian Joy, I also expect that it will reach a far greater number of viewers than any of my previous works."

Tan Ping's stunning hull artwork promises to be the finishing touch on one of the most ambitious vessels in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. Norwegian Joy will accommodate 3,850 guests with luxurious suites in the exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex, The Haven by Norwegian®, along with a brand new Concierge category of staterooms, plus a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view, and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies, to meet every guests' needs. Dining options will feature both Chinese and Continental cuisine. When it comes to at-sea entertainment, guests aboard Norwegian Joy will be spoiled for choice with state-of-the-art Virtual Reality gaming at The Galaxy Pavilion, the world’s first two-level competitive racetrack at sea, an open-space park, two multi-story waterslides and plentiful options for duty-free shopping.

Image Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cruise Travel: Planning & Packing & Lists


Before you break out the suitcases and affix the luggage tags, you need to decide what to pack for your cruise. That doesn't sound difficult, but it can make or break your trip, especially if you forget something essential.

I became a confirmed packing list maker following my very first cruise on the SS Norway. I forgot one little grooming aid that I really really needed—my tweezers. One of my tablemates forgot to bring her hairdryer. We were both able to find suitable replacements ashore but we spent two days at sea before arriving in port where we could shop for them.

Aha! A light went on in my brain! If I had a checklist, I would be less likely to leave something out of my suitcase. What simplicity... why hadn't anyone thought of it before? Mind you, this was twenty-five years ago, the Internet was in its infancy, and there were no cruise-specific packing lists making the rounds. No lists at ALL, in fact. So I devised one with everything I could think of and, when fellow cruisers on Prodigy, AOL, CompuServe, and the newsgroup (remember them?) heard about it, my email box was flooded with requests for "the packing list." Now, mind you, it contains just about everything anyone would need so there are many items you can just cross off.

Thus, my web site was originally created to share the packing lists! A new career was born and I now lecture on ships about packing light. Yes... it's true! I can pack everything I need for a two week cruise in an airline regulation size carry-on and my backpack purse.

A cruise is unlike a resort vacation. There's no local supermarket or drugstore to pop into when you need something. Although many ships stock a variety of sundries these days, they can cost considerably more than comparable items at home.

I hope the lists and articles linked from the Packing & Lists page on the Cruise Diva website are helpful to you. If so, let me know. If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear that as well.

Bon Voyage!
Linda Coffman, the Cruise Diva (& Packing Guru)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Seabourn Sets Sail For the South Pole

Setting sail for uncharted waters, luxury cruise line Seabourn is launching new pre-cruise experiences taking guests to the South Pole on select Antarctica & Patagonia itineraries during the 2016-2017 season. Guests bound for the Great White Continent aboard Seabourn Quest can extend their adventure with two new travel packages that also travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including: Polar Quest & Patagonia and Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls.

"Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of-the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole," said Robin West, Senior Manager, Expedition Planning and Operations for Seabourn. "These experiences will be the icing on the cake for guests bound for Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest over the season ahead."

Both of the pre-cruise packages include stays at Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, one of a few private seasonally occupied camps in Antarctica. Operated by renowned land-based tour operator Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the full-service camp offers spacious, double-occupancy sleeping tents; freshly prepared gourmet cuisine; and a spectacular setting for activities from scenic excursions to technical climbs and ski tours. Hold onto your hats—these are extraordinary high-end experiences with ultra high-end prices.

There are many memories waiting to be made and much for guests to enjoy on the new pre-cruise experiences on Seabourn Quest in Antarctica & Patagonia this season, including:
• Polar Quest & Patagonia (14 nights/15 days): In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, this overland journey takes guests on an exploration of breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site Torres del Paine National Park that encompasses 450,000 acres of forests, rivers, lakes and virgin pampas in southernmost Chile. Choose from a variety of included excursions providing daily opportunities to explore the various environments, including vivid blue ice pools, raw glacial moraines and abundant wildlife from guanacos to Andean condors. Package rates start at $50,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure Dec 4, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing Dec 19, 2016.
• Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls (16 nights/17 days): In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, guests will join a select company of intrepid explorers en-route to one of the world's most remote and unspoiled destinations: the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina. From Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, guests will witness an immense complex of waterfalls. Explore the falls and its surroundings from extensive walkways or take options such as inflatable boats or helicopter tours. Package rates start at $53,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure Dec 26, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing Jan 12, 2017.
Images Courtesy of Seabourn

Monday, July 25, 2016

Carnival Introduces Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea

Carnival Cruise Line and Build-A-Bear Workshop have entered into an exclusive partnership to bring the unique retail-entertainment experience to the cruise line’s fleet. The first Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea is being rolled out aboard Carnival Dream and is expected to be fleetwide aboard all 25 Carnival ships by summer 2017.

Building upon Carnival’s position as the family cruise leader hosting 700,000 kids a year, Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea provides children of all ages an opportunity to make their own cuddly bear that can be customized with a variety of outfits and accessories, from tutus and high-top sneakers to, appropriately enough, vacation wear like bathing suits and sunglasses. Each bear comes complete with its own “birth certificate” with the bear’s name and date he or she was created, as well as a logoed drawstring bag. Additionally, the bears have their own “voice” via a recordable sound chip with kids recording their own special message. And the fun doesn’t stop at just making bears—kids can create monkeys, leopards, turtles and other furry friends, as well as a St. Jude Bear with proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of Carnival’s primary charitable partners.

“Build-A-Bear Workshop is a popular part of American culture and we’re delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to make their own custom-designed bear and create a lifetime of memories,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are equally grateful to partner with Build-A-Bear Workshop to help raise money for the special kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” she added.

Participants can make their custom-designed bears at pop-up Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea workstations located within the Camp Ocean facilities or join the ships’ cruise directors with festive Build-A-Bear At Sea parties held each cruise and featuring music, bear-themed snacks and photo opportunities. The pop-up workstations are set up at designated times throughout the cruise and include everything to make a cute, huggable bear with racks filled with various outfits and accessories as well as an iconic stuffer that allows participants to add soft stuffing to make their bear as plush and cuddly as they want.

Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea complements the wide variety of family-friendly activities available aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships which also include complimentary children’s programs for kids 2-17, spectacular water parks with corkscrew water slides and splash zones, miniature golf courses, video arcades, poolside DiveIn Movies on giant LED screens, outdoor play spaces, volleyball and basketball courts and more. Prices for the bears start at $20 with outfits and accessories starting at $5.

Image Courtesy Carnival Cruise Line

Friday, July 22, 2016

Trio of Waterslides on The Sea Tops Harmony of the Seas

Five decks above a main courtyard of the world's largest cruise ship, passengers on Royal Caribbean's new Harmony of the Seas might catch a glimpse of the expansive ocean as they ride slides towering 10 stories above the blue sea. But that word "might" gives a clue as to what typically grabs their attention during the slip-sliding journey: the heart-pounding adrenaline rush. A guest called one of the attractions the "quite possibly the best waterslide at sea."

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line launched the new ship—the world's largest ever built—in May 2016. Among its most popular features are its three waterslides, together referred to as The Perfect Storm: the Cyclone, Typhoon, and Supercell. Polin Waterparks manufactured the waterslides using two of its most popular waterslides namely the Aquatube and Space Hole.
Aquatube. Polin installed two of these slides—individually named on Harmony as the Cyclone and Typhoon—to form the ship's signature attraction, which RCCL calls The Ultimate Abyss. Guests enter the slides on Deck 18 in the Pool and Sports Zone at the back of the ship. They zip in whooshing circles through its enclosed tubes, alternating between transparent and dark sections, before dropping about 100 feet and exiting to the Boardwalk onto Deck 15.
Space Hole. This ride—named the Supercell on Harmony—features a giant basin that some reviewers have referred to as an elegant "champagne bowl." The attraction is one of the largest slides available for speed riding. Guests zoom through an enclosed tube that deposits them into the open bowl. There, centrifugal force whirls them around the interior before they exit through the center and make a breathtaking splash below. Guests access the slides from a glass platform, which provides a feeling of being suspended in mid-air, giving many riders pause before they even begin the 10-story plunge. (More than a few, in fact, change their minds about taking on the challenge, which begins 150 feet in the air.)
All of Harmony of the Seas' waterslides are produced using Polin's innovative Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) technology. This process which is the latest technology in waterslide manufacturing creates waterslides components that are smooth and shiny on both sides. This feature—which Polin calls Magic Shine—means the tunnel components don't get dirty as quickly and are easier to clean—definite advantages for the variety of weather conditions a cruise ship can encounter. It also means the slides are stronger—yet lighter—and easier to install. Especially important, it provides the slides with extra strength to stand up to high wind loads. Plus, the waterslides offer Polin's patented Natural Light Effects technology.

Polin worked with project-management partner Myrtha Pools (Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy) to oversee the special engineering and installation requirements that the project required. Despite the unique considerations that a cruise ship offers, Polin's waterslides on Harmony of the Seas still deliver the same heart-thumping thrills of slides on terra firma. In fact, the slides on RCCL's ship offer a wholly different kind of excitement.

A Special Section for the Littlest Guests
While being the largest ship in the world is reason enough to get guests' attention, and offering a 10-story slide to boot, Harmony is also the first ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet to feature a mini waterpark area for kids: Splashaway Bay. The aqua play structure is a colorful waterscape specially created to entertain the ship's youngest guests. It features sea-creature water cannons, winding slides, a gigantic tipping bucket, and a multiplatform jungle-gym.

Following the Trend in Attracting Families
Between waterslides for all and the splash park for little ones, Harmony's inclusion of a variety of aquatic attractions is now considered crucial by many within the cruise industry. The different slide options are attractive to family members of all ages but are especially critical for entertaining teens who want options where they can spend time with others their own age. It's no surprise, then, that including highly engineered and exciting waterpark options was important to RCCL. In fact, being asked to develop the plans for Harmony's family-friendly offerings followed a trend Polin Waterparks has seen coming. Over the last several years, Polin Waterparks has been involved in innovative installations on many other cruise ships.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sail the Caribbean All Year-Long with Celebrity Equinox

It’s been a while, but Celebrity Cruises has announced it will soon reintroduce year-round Caribbean sailings to its list of itineraries. Celebrity Equinox is set to call on some of the most breathtaking places in the region and Celebrity is further elevating each sailing by introducing new unique experiences and enriching activities that all ages can enjoy. This is the Celebrity Distinction.

“Our guests, first-time cruisers, and our travel partners have been asking me for many years to offer year-round Caribbean cruises. They wished we offered these itineraries,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “The response we have received so far to our year-round Caribbean sailings has been overwhelming, and we are excited to offer our guests endless summers in such a beautiful place.”

Celebrity Cruises is offering 24 sailings alternating between the Western and Eastern Caribbean on Celebrity Equinox and seven exceptional itineraries in 2017—all from Miami. As a prelude to summer, Celebrity Cruises is offering a special 11-night Signature Event sailing in the Caribbean that includes a double-overnight stay in New Orleans, Louisiana, coinciding with the city’s famous jazz festival. In addition, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, will be hosting a special President’s Cruise in the Caribbean, departing on Aug 27, 2017, for an 8-night Eastern Caribbean sailing. Lutoff-Perlo will be hosting special events and excursions to take the vacation to the next level of indulgence.

The Most Distinctive Summer Camp at Sea, for Children and Adults: In addition to offering new sailings onboard the Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Cruises is introducing the most unique “Summer Camp at Sea,” allowing children to enjoy a vacation that moves beyond purely entertainment, to also deliver enriching and inspiring activities. From offering an “Adventure through Science” program to becoming a director for the day and creating a short video onboard, children ages 3-17 have a range of one-of-a-kind educational activities at their fingertips.

Taste of the Caribbean: Adults can partake in the excitement too with Celebrity Cruises’ newest culinary program. Celebrity is bringing a taste of the Caribbean to travelers with its new Taste of the Caribbean program, which offers complimentary events for adults at sea. Events include a culinary demo with Celebrity featured chefs, mixology demos, the biggest wine tasting at sea, rum and reggae party on The Lawn Club, and brunch and bubbles. Exclusive events are also available for a fee, including a fresh pasta and mozzarella making class and lunch in Tuscan Grille and an exclusive five-course tasting dinner with Celebrity chefs.

Adults looking to be fully immersed in the culinary indulgences can enjoy the Taste of the Caribbean Premium Package. This luxurious package gives guests a taste of all of the culinary, wine and cocktail indulgences available on the Celebrity Equinox. From the Chef Market Discovery excursion to a “Blendtique” wine blending class to a Riedel Wine comparison workshop, guests’ taste buds will be pampered throughout their sailing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MSC Cruises Enhances Onboard Family Programs

Family-friendly MSC Cruises is adding to its already rich family cruise offerings with the introduction of an innovative kids sports program, DOREBRO; a kids-dedicated interactive cooking class designed with Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco; and a new, exclusive MSC Cruises ship toy developed by LEGO.

"As a family-owned company, from day one we have understood and focused on the importance of offering families and their kids on-board our ships a vacation that has all the elements that can make it a truly unforgettable one for the entire family, in addition to being stress-free," said Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises. "For this reason, kids-dedicated activities and other family related services have always been at the very core of our guest offering and are strengthened on an ongoing basis by further additions—thus making this element of our offering one of the richest at sea."

Across its entire fleet, which is the most modern at sea, MSC Cruises provides a very extensive offering for family vacations, including:
• Dedicated clubs segmented by age group as well as daily entertainment for all ages;
• Family dining options;
• Modern and fun-filled on-board facilities such as aqua parks and pools, bowling alleys and 4D cinemas; and
• Dedicated shore activities designed with the needs of the entire family in mind.
New this summer is the DOREBRO sports program, an on-board entertainment innovation designed especially for kids who love sports. Children and teens aged from 3 to 17 years old can join the program, which is now available on most MSC Cruises ships sailing in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The program offers an exciting variety of sports and active games for all levels, broken down in two daily sessions, with activities designed for the different age groups. The program has been designed in collaboration with King's Active, the UK-based company expert in designing engaging and fun youth activities to inspire sports stars of the future.

Alongside this addition, starting this summer season, MSC Cruises has also introduced "DOREMI Chef by Carlo Cracco," a cooking class designed in collaboration with the two-starred Michelin chef Carlo Cracco. Led by MSC Cruises chefs and the on-board MSC Cruises mascot DOREMI, children aged 3 to 11 will learn how to make homemade pasta from scratch while receiving plenty of cooking hints and tips from the globally renowned chef. Upon completion of the course, each child will receive an official mini-chef certificate signed by Carlo Cracco himself.

MSC Cruises also offers its guests a wide range of on-board entertainment especially for kids, developed in collaboration with the LEGO Group, the world's leading toy producer. As part of this relationship, LEGO Group has recently launched a very special LEGO® MSC Cruises toy of MSC Meraviglia, the company's new next-generation cruise ship that launches in June 2017 and will sail the Mediterranean for its inaugural season. This toy LEGO model, which is made up of 180 bricks and is available for sale fleet wide at the on-board MSC Cruises Logo shop for $12, will make the perfect souvenir for children who can then relive their MSC Cruises family vacation at home in a fun and creative way.

MSC Cruises also offers a range of services for babies and young children including the Mini-Club for children under 3 as well as a dedicated childcare service giving parents the freedom to enjoy the ship, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by dedicated and highly trained staff. Many of these services are offered in collaboration with Chicco®—a leading global baby brand and yet another exclusive MSC Cruises partnership.

Additional highlights for families sailing with MSC Cruises’ include:
• Kids 11 and under sail free; Teens 12-17 receive a significant discount
• MSC Cruises is an ideal vacation option for families looking to combine fun with a variety of cultural and educational experiences (for instance, we offer language courses, where children learn basic sentences in 6 different languages; and we have a MSC for UNICEF Day that includes a variety of fun and educational activities for children while educating them on important topics about UNICEF and malnutrition).
• Kids traveling with MSC Cruises are exposed to multiple cultures and backgrounds as they play and interact with other kids from around the world.
Image Courtesy MSC Cruises

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Knighted Cunard Commodores Inspire New Cocktails

To share the unique story of the Knighted Cunard Commodores, Cunard's iconic cocktail bar the Commodore Club has introduced a new and distinguished menu. Each historic and decorated story is infused into the cocktail experience with a modern menu design, illustration, and new signature cocktails. These fresh additions to the renowned bar, found in prime locations on each of the Cunard Queens, highlight the craftsmanship that has gone into each drink. Cunard's onshore and on board bar teams have carefully mixed ingredients reflective of the personalities of these celebrated men to create cocktails such as 'Punch Romain à la Carpathia', believed to be the last libation served aboard Titanic. The intriguing cocktail inspired by Commodore Sir Arthur Rostron who led the safe rescue of all survivors of Titanic features Advocaat as the signature ingredient.

The recent $132 million remastering of the Queen Mary 2, provided Cunard with an opportunity to add contemporary enhancements to the bar interior, and with a number of new food and beverage concepts being launched across the entire fleet. One of the first to be available on every Cunard Queen is the transformed flagship cocktail menu for the popular Commodore Club.

Steering the fleet forward through their unfaltering precision and expertise, Cunard Commodores have led the fleet across the sea for almost two centuries. Alongside the number of knighted Commodores, Cunard is also honored to claim more knighthoods, seven, among its Captains than any other cruise line.

Cunard worked with illustrator Lauren Crowe to bring to life these seven men, beautifully creating intricate pencil illustrations of each of the knighted Commodores, inspired by their steep history and stories. The new depictions of these respected individuals are presented within a bold contemporary menu design that takes inspiration from Cunard's rich maritime past. Together with the illustrations, part of the new designs include a set of distinct and striking monograms specifically crafted to represent each individual Commodore, subtly referencing an aspect of the Commodore's story.

"Cunard has continued to receive recognition as a leader in world exploration within its more than 176-year history," said Richard Meadows, President, Cunard North America. "We are proud to recognize seven of the most decorated Cunard Commodores in Queen Mary 2's iconic Commodore Club, who have led the Cunard fleets and flagships throughout the company's illustrious past. Inspired by character and history, each cocktail has been thoughtfully created to honor their remarkable stories."

Guests of the Commodore Club on board Queen Mary 2 can enjoy one of seven newly designed cocktails, including 'Over the Top, inspired by Commodore Sir James Charles (1865-1928). Known for doing things on a grand scale, this Commodore's dinner parties aboard Aquitania were well renowned as opulently social affairs, and this aromatic and refreshing sharing cocktail is extravagantly presented, just the way Sir James would come to expect.

Image Courtesy Cunard Line

Monday, July 18, 2016

Celebrity Cruises Introduces “Celebrity Distinction”

As the brand that launched the Solstice Class ships, with their industry-first half acre of real grass lawn at sea, followed by the multi-million dollar “Solsticizing” of its Millennium Class ships, Celebrity Cruises continues to showcase why the brand is distinctively different and truly cutting-edge. Travelers are choosing Celebrity for the brand’s skill in blending cultural exploration with lavish accommodations, world-class cuisine and hospitality, that can only be summed up as the Celebrity Distinction—an unwavering commitment to consistently provide a vacation experience unlike any other.

 “The Celebrity Distinction is our commitment to continually offer fresh, enticing and uniquely differentiated travel experiences,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “When I rejoined Celebrity, we re-established our vision first introduced with the award winning Solstice Class ships, and we have been extremely busy over the last 18 months bringing even more one-of-a-kind offerings to our guests.”

In addition to introducing the Solstice Class ships and “Solsticizing” the Millennium Class ships, during the last 18 months Celebrity has premiered new offerings to further enhance the guest experience. These Celebrity Distinction initiatives include:

Unique Destination Experiences:
• Increased number of overnight sailings in the most in-demand destinations
• Greater variety of Signature Event Sailings to the hottest global events
• New destination experiences, including Chef Market Discoveries, exclusively Celebrity and Private Journeys shore excursions with dedicated Destination Insiders to assist guests in creating the best vacation
• The expansion in the Galapagos Islands with two distinct new ships, and a multi-million dollar refresh per vessel for signature modern experiences. Guests can enjoy new ports-of-call and exclusive shore excursions
Onboard Enhancements and Experiences:
• Multi-million dollar refresh of the Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Infinity and Celebrity Millennium with new spaces and experiences—more luxurious than ever before
• New lavish Suite Class services and amenities, including the exclusive Luminae restaurant, personal butler service for every suite and a private lounge featuring a dedicated concierge
• Recognition by the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or Austria for the outstanding service from Celebrity’s Michael’s Club concierges
• Advancing women's leadership in cruising with the hire of the industry's first-ever American female captain, Kate McCue
• A one-of-a-kind multi-sensory experience, Taste of Film, combining delicious food with film on the new Rooftop Terrace, onboard Millennium Class Ships
• The world’s first permanent "World Class™ Bar” in partnership with Diageo Global Travel Americas, with interactive and luxurious drinks experiences created by World Class-certified mixologists
• Series of 18 spectacular shows in 18 months
• Unique Take Care of Your Selfie spa and wellness program to encourage guests to find a tech-life balance while on vacation
• New Evening Chic nights, with upscale, more relaxed attire—replacing the traditional formal nights
• One-of-a-kind experiences and benefits for MGM Resorts’ M life and Celebrity’s Captain’s Club loyalty program members, from VIP experiences at Las Vegas resorts to modern luxury cruises
• Introduction of Xcelerate, Celebrity’s new high-speed internet capability across the entire fleet to make it faster and easier to stay connected
Celebrity Cruises has also recently announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with French Shipbuilder STX France to build four Edge-class ships scheduled for delivery in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022. Solstice-class ushered in a new era of design for modern cruise ships, and Edge-class will not disappoint as the new generation of high style and design. Celebrity will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible at sea.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Regent’s Seven Seas Explorer Enters the Fleet

In a christening ceremony as regal as it was star-studded, the Godmother of Seven Seas Explorer, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, cut a red velvet ribbon which sent a Primat bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne smashing against the ship’s hull to officially christen the newest member of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet.

The gala christening ceremony took place in Monte Carlo, one of the world’s most glamorous cities, and included a special private concert by world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco delivered the traditional maritime blessing before the bottle of champagne broke against the ship’s hull, officially christening the vessel. The jubilation of the bottle breaking moment was followed by a spectacular 40-minute private performance from musical maestro Andrea Bocelli, capping an incredible evening for a ship that sets new benchmarks for luxury.

“This is truly a special moment, not only for the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand, but for the entire Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family,” shared Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and chief executive officer. “Tonight we celebrate the realization of our vision. Seven Seas Explorer is not only the world’s most luxurious ship—she sets a new benchmark for luxury vacations and lays the foundation from which Regent Seven Seas Cruises will continue to build. We have already begun a massive $125 million refurbishment effort to ensure every ship in our fleet matches the luxury standard found on Explorer, and will introduce a sister-ship in 2020.”

During his christening remarks, Del Rio reflected upon the humanitarian efforts undertaken by Her Serene Highness as part of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to save lives by teaching children and adults basic water safety techniques.

“It is an honor to be the Godmother of this magnificent ship, Seven Seas Explorer. I am also thrilled by the discussions taking place between my Foundation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to implement my Water Safety program on all their ships. Developing awareness of the risks attached to aquatic environments is, for me, a cause of most importance,” stated Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene.

Seven Seas Explorer delivers an unrivaled luxury cruise experience. The ship features extravagantly designed theaters and lounges, an unparalleled collection of opulent and spacious suites, five lavish gourmet restaurants, and an unprecedented level of personalized service. At 55,254 gross-registered tons and carrying only 750 guests, the all-suite, all-balcony ship boasts one of the highest space ratios and lowest crew to guest ratios in the cruise industry, not to mention the largest private verandas in the cruise industry and a new category of luxury suite, the nearly 4,500-square foot Regent Suite. The luxury liner’s maiden voyage will take place July 20, 2016, and will spend its inaugural season in Europe before heading to Miami for a series of Caribbean voyages.

Images Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Steel Cut for Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam

Holland America Line’s first Pinnacle Class ship ms Koningsdam (pictured here) has barely begun her maiden season and her sister-ship is already in the works with the first steel being cut this week for ms Nieuw Statendam. The steel cutting ceremony took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, and the block being built there will later be moved to the Marghera yard where the ship will be constructed.

Due for delivery in November 2018, the 99,500-ton Nieuw Statendam—the 15th in the fleet—is the second Pinnacle Class vessel for Holland America Line, joining ms Koningsdam, which sailed its first cruise in April 2016. The steel cutting follows a period of design and development for the 2,650-passenger ship that will feature enhanced Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations.

“This is an exciting time for Holland America Line, and Nieuw Statendam’s steel cutting is a milestone that signifies our continued growth and evolution as a company and a brand,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “With Pinnacle Class we have been able to try new things, expand our horizons and push boundaries, and while Nieuw Statendam is a sister to Koningsdam, we do have some new ideas that will be revealed in time.”

This is the 16th ship built for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently constructed Koningsdam.

Image Courtesy Holland America Line

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Introducing "Seabourn Signature Scents"

Luxury cruise lines are noted for high end touches that even reach into the bathroom where guests find sumptuous designer toiletries. Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise line, and Molton Brown are raising the bar in the bath by introducing Seabourn Signature Scents, a luxurious creation of exotic fragrances designed exclusively for Seabourn guests.

This step marks the latest launch of the 14-year collaboration between the cruise line and the London-based fragrance pioneers. Molton Brown's expertise at blending rare ingredients is combined with Seabourn's spirit of discovering the ocean's hidden gems to craft immersive, sophisticated body and hair collections.

"Our new Seabourn Signature Scents are the result of genuine collaboration with Molton Brown, with several months spent developing distinctive scent combinations that will serve to remind guests of the experience of their Seabourn cruise long after they've returned home," said Christopher Prelog, vice president of hotel operations for Seabourn.

Available onboard all three ships as complimentary bath amenities in guest suites, the Seabourn Signature Scents collection evokes boundless nautical adventures, inviting guests to explore secret treasures that wait in ports the line visits around the globe. Additionally, in early 2017, the Seabourn Signature Scents will be available for sale.

Two exclusive Seabourn Signature Scents were blended from four unique ingredients sourced from the coastlines that Seabourn ships explore:
• Immersive Samphire & Eucalyptus: The uplifting aromas of fresh samphire from the rocky, salt-sprayed Atlantic coast of France and enlivening eucalyptus from China are balanced with cardamom, cedarwood, violet and mint for a captivating finish in the body lotion and bath & shower gel. Perfumer Philippe Bousseton, who developed the blend, describes the Seabourn Signature Scent as, "a revitalizing and very fresh blend ideal for bathing, reminiscent of the sea and, ultimately, of the Seabourn experience."
• Inspiring Basil & Vetiver: Mirroring the relaxing, sanctuary-like ambience of The Spa at Seabourn, this scent blends Vietnamese basil oil and aromatic vetiver from Haiti with cardamom, bergamot, cedarwood and petitgrain for a shampoo and conditioner. Perfumer Heidrun Harder crafted the combination and describes the scent as, "very sophisticated, rounded and clean, with aromatic notes perfect for hair care."
Guests can enjoy the distinctive aromas of Seabourn Signature Scents, which are arriving now, onboard all Seabourn cruise ships, as well as on the line's newest vessel, Seabourn Encore, launching in December 2016.

Image Courtesy Seabourn

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Is It Safe To Visit Turkey?

“Sorry We Are Open”... a sign on an Istanbul shop

Few countries offer the traveler more things to see and do than Turkey—historic structures of religious significance, beautiful palaces, ancient ruins, and shopping opportunities. We have been fortunate to visit many of the sites in Istanbul that had long been on my wish-list of places to visit, such as the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, or the Blue Mosque; Hagia Sophia, the Church of Santa Sophia; Topkapi Palace, after which Disney modeled Sleeping Beauty's Castle; Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, with over 4000 shops it’s the original Turkish version of the Mall of America; and the magnificent Dolmabache Palace and Harem—pictured here from a tour boat on the Bosphorus, it rivals even the fabulous Palace of Versailles.

While I’ve often answered the question, “what’s your favorite port?” by responding, “Istanbul,” sadly I can no longer recommend that cruisers select an itinerary that embarks, disembarks, or even calls there. With the terrorist attacks in the city on Istiklal Street and at the Hippodrome of Constantinople in the Sultan Ahmet Square—clearly aimed at tourists—and the horrific attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, it’s become an iffy destination for cruise ships and most cruise lines no longer call there.

Kusadasi, Turkey, the gateway port to the ancient city of Ephesus, is still on many cruise lines’ itineraries and so far seems relatively safe. However, terrorists have made it clear that they are targeting tourists—and popular seaside resorts have cropped up near Kusadasi—so it’s possible that the ‘safe’ designation could change.

It’s heartbreaking that there is so much violence in a country that I love dearly. The Turkish people are some of the kindest and friendliest I’ve met in my travels. In addition to being interesting, the places I visited in Turkey were inspirational. Most notable was the Great Theater in Ephesus. With capacity for 24,000 spectators, it was the scene of gladiatorial contests and it was there that Anthony appeared with Cleopatra before the populace and also where St. Paul addressed the Ephesians. Sitting on a marble seat in the hot Turkish sun, I felt a chill when our guide took the stage and acted out Anthony’s introduction of Cleopatra and then solemnly quoted St. Paul. Following in the footsteps of history is an experience no one should miss and I hope it continues to be safe there to do so.

Some of my colleagues opine that it’s not dangerous to visit Istanbul as long as cruise ships still call there. Two gentlemen bloggers in particular seemed to base their recent opinion on the largess of a cruise line that has hosted them a number of times, but which has since stopped calling on Turkish ports and turning ships around in Istanbul. Personally, I feel their advice has been irresponsible and urge all travelers to use an abundance of caution when planning any trip.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sixthman Celebrates 15 Years of Music Festivals at Sea

As Mel and I learned while sailing on a music-themed full ship charter cruise hosted by Sixthman, we had a great time because we shared the experience with an entire ship full of like-minded people. We were a community of passengers who had a lot in common and were fun to be around. That's the beauty of a theme cruise aboard a full-ship charter. For fifteen years, Sixthman—an industry leader in music festivals at sea—has been setting the stage for moments that make life rock. As a pioneer for themed cruise experiences, Sixthman tears down the walls between fans and bands, allowing guests to set sail on vacation together with their favorite artists. Founded in 2001 by Andy Levine with The Rock Boat’s inaugural sailing, Sixthman has gone on to produce 94 festivals with nearly 900 artists, traveling to over 20 destinations and hosting more than 200,000 guests for 835,000 vacation days over the past fifteen years.

On land and at sea, Sixthman guests are the STAR and are inspired to LIVE LOUD—from singing karaoke on stage or being in a guitar pick throwing contest with their favorite artists, to theme night parties, pool deck sail-a-way shows, concerts on private islands, artist-hosted belly flop contests, and fan-band Q & A sessions. A Sixthman festival at sea brings non-stop performances across multiple stages, artist collaborations you can’t find on land, and a truly immersive experience fueled by passionate fan communities.

In addition to creating moments at sea for guests, Sixthman and their cruise communities set the stage to serve others by giving back in the ports they visit and to multiple charitable organizations each year. During the recent spring sail season, guests of Sixthman festivals donated over 1,000 lbs. of school and medical supplies to children through Pack For a Purpose and raised nearly $20,000 for foundations such as Soldier’s Angels and Music Makes Life Better.

Sixthman’s music festivals at sea have included vacations with world class artists such as KISS, Kid Rock, John Mayer, Zac Brown Band, Train, Pitbull, Paramore, Florida Georgia Line, Diplo, Joe Bonamassa, Lynyrd Skynyrd, 311, John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Chris Stapleton, Barenaked Ladies, Sister Hazel, and more with partners including Sirius XM Outlaw Country, Walker Stalker Con, Tru TV, and Turner Broadcasting.

“Thanks to our guest and artist communities, we feel blessed to have the best jobs on the planet,” says Anthony Diaz, CEO of Sixthman. “We’re excited to share this 15 year milestone together with those who’ve made it possible.”

The intimate, interactive connections between artists and fans build upon already strong communities. Sail Across The Sun (approaching it’s fourth voyage next February) is "all about spending time with friends, new and old,” says Train’s Pat Monahan.

Sixthman’s Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 line-up includes:
• Nov 4-9, 2016 KISS Kruise VI: Miami to Cozumel and Grand Cayman*
• Feb 3-6, 2017 2nd Annual Walker Stalker Cruise: Miami to Great Stirrup Cay*
• February 6-10, 2017 Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea III: Tampa to Costa Maya**
• Feb 10-15, 2017 The Rock Boat XVII: Tampa to Harvest Caye and Costa Maya**
• Feb 15-19, 2017 4th Annual Sail Across The Sun: Tampa to Costa Maya**
• Feb 19-26, 2017 10th Edition Cayamo: Tampa Cozumel and Roatan**
• Feb 26–March 2, 2017 2nd Annual Outlaw Country Cruise: Tampa to Cozumel**
• March 2-6, 2017 311 Caribean Cruise|5th Voyage: Tampa to Cozumel **
• March 10-13, 2017 Pitbull After Dark Party: Miami to Great Stirrup Cay*
• April 4-9, 2017 Kid Rock’s 8th Chillin’ the Most Cruise: From Tampa (destinations to be announced)**
Plus more to be announced soon!
*Sailing aboard the Norwegian Pearl
**Sailing aboard the Norwegian Jade

Friday, July 8, 2016

Why Book A Suite?

While a suite on most cruise ships may simply be much larger in square footage and not have a separate bedroom, such as the one pictured here aboard MSC Orchestra, there are benefits to booking one. We agree with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), that cruise lines have raised the bar when it comes to cabin suites, penthouses, and preferred guest services. From 24/7 butlers and private dining rooms to preferred embarking and disembarking privileges and Expansive balconies, living the suite life has gotten even sweeter for those who choose to book a cruise suite.

“Cruising offers a vacation option for every travel style and budget, but now there are even more opportunities to create differing experiences within the same cruise vacation,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “New accommodation concepts offer the opportunity to host large social groups, create a multigenerational experience, or simply design a luxurious vacation complete with penthouse options and concierge service.”

Living the Suite Life
There are many benefits to upgrading to a suite on a cruise ship. In addition to generally being larger than staterooms, suites come with a variety of high-end options, premium finishes and passenger privileges. Examples include:
• Premium Services: Suite passengers are offered special VIP options. Some cruise lines offer expedited embarking and disembarking privileges, first class flights, and even private cars while at port.
• Exclusive Clubs, Dining and Fitness Facilities: When staying in a suite, cruise lines offer guests exclusive access areas, ranging from clubs and dining areas to spas and fitness facilities.
• In-Room Spa Treatments: Certain cruise lines offer suite guests unlimited lavish spa services onboard while others even offer in-room spa retreats.
• Special Suite Amenities: From walk-in closets, espresso machines, and whirlpool tubs to telescopes and pianos, cruise line suites offer a variety of above-and-beyond amenities for guests.
• High-End Décor and Designs: Suites have been designed with top-of-the-line finishes and details ranging from designer linens and décor to marble and mahogany furnishings.
• Personal Butlers and Suite Stewards: Suite guests are often welcomed with personal butlers and suite stewards. This level of service offers guests valet service and help with any special requests.
• Complimentary Beverage Services: Booking a suite on some cruise lines opens the door to unlimited beverages and even include a personal mini bar.
“Staying in a larger, luxury suite or penthouse with upgraded amenities, while taking advantage of the ship’s other offerings including casinos, Broadway-style shows and exciting on-board activities, allows guests to enjoy a ‘ship within a ship’ experience,” said D’Aoust. “This truly takes booking a suite to an elevated level.”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Cruise Line Recycling Efforts Highlighted During Clean Beaches Week

Grand Turks pristine beach
In recognition of Clean Beaches Week, July 1-7, 2017, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is highlighting cruise line contributions to keeping the world’s beaches and oceans clean. In cooperation with its Members, CLIA is developing a report to outline the state of the industry’s environmental initiatives in 2016 and its ongoing commitment to responsible, sustainable cruising.

“Cruise ships use some of the most innovative recycling, reduction and reuse strategies in the world,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA president and CEO. “Thanks to the leadership of cruise lines and the efforts of dedicated Crewmembers, cruise ships recycle 60 percent more trash per passenger than is recycled by the average person on land.”

This recycling includes more than 80,000 tons of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass each year. Unrecyclable waste on cruise ships can be less than 1.5 pounds per person per day, compared to the average of 4 to 5 pounds per person per day on land in the United States. Cruise ships can repurpose nearly 100 percent of the waste generated on board—by reducing, reusing, donating, recycling and converting waste into energy. In addition, the cruise industry actively encourages passengers to join environmental stewardship efforts, by offering onboard resource conservation programs.

“Beautiful oceans and destinations are critical to cruise travel. The cruise industry is committed to protecting the environment because it is the right thing to do, and it is fundamental to the success of our industry,” D’Aoust said. “The cruise industry takes seriously its responsibility to recycle and reduce waste to ensure our guests have a wonderful vacation experience. CLIA Cruise Line Members pride themselves on being leaders in recycling, and look forward to continuing to innovate.”

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line Beverage Policy Change

In a recent message to travel agents, Norwegian Cruise Line stated that the safety and security of their guests and crew is their top priority. That's the good news. To ensure a safe and enjoyable onboard environment for all, effective July 15th, guests are prohibited from bringing any beverages—including liquor, beer and non-alcoholic drinks such as water, soda and juices—on board the company's ships either as carry-on or checked luggage. That's the bad news.

More good news is that there are a couple exceptions. Still allowed are purified or distilled water in factory-sealed containers for use in conjunction with medical devices or for the reconstitution of infant formula and fully sealed and/or corked wine bottles for personal consumption on board that is subject to screening and a corkage fee (for guests 21 years of age or older). As in airports, open beverages of any kind must be consumed or discarded at the security check-point, both on embarkation day and at any port of call.

To provide guests with a smoother and faster embarkation experience, Norwegian will be implementing this updated policy effective July 15. This revised policy brings the company in line with other best practise travel security protocols and reduces the need for individual time consuming screening and package inspection of large volumes of beverages.

This new beverage policy won't be popular, but it's likely due to people carrying on large quantities of soft drinks and bottled water. Plus, we all know about "smuggling" alcohol on board disguised in "legal" beverage bottles, which has long been a no-no.

Image Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Discover MSC Meraviglia

While she won't launch until June 2017, get ready to "virtually" explore MSC Meraviglia.

MSC Meraviglia will offer a world of choice, with everything that you might look for in a cruise vacation, both on board and onshore.
• At 1033 feet long and 213 feet tall, with 19 decks and capacity of 4,500 guests (double occupancy) MSC Meraviglia will be one of the biggest cruise ships at sea.
• In addition to exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows, MSC Meraviglia features a second 10,765 sq. ft. theater venue offering six different shows per cruise. With three showings per day, guests will be provided with additional options in a variety of world-class productions.
• One of the highlights on the Promenade will be pre-dinner parades. Providing a taster of the evening’s entertainment with dancers, singers, and performers in their flamboyant costumes designed to dazzle guests–all overseen by the Cruise Director, leading the entertainment from a bridge over the Promenade. There will also be spectacular “mini-shows” with the LED sky.
• At the end of the Promenade there will be a versatile bar open 24-hours-a-day, serving coffee, cappuccinos, and fresh croissants in the morning, and a wide range of cocktails in the evening before transforming itself into a post-dinner ballroom. There will also be a band for guests to dance to, or simply enjoy the music throughout the evening.
• The multi-purpose media space on deck 7 will operate as the TV studio from which the Cruise Director will film the “Morning Show,” to be broadcast throughout the ship.
• The karaoke bar will also allow guests to order and purchase a copy of their performance as a unique souvenir of their vacation.
• The Super Amusement Park houses the latest in entertainment for all the family. Key features include:
o A multi-purpose, amusement arena with sea views that can be used for sports such as basketball, football and volleyball. The area can also work as a ballroom or an events space for both large and smaller groups
o The latest technology including two F1 Simulators, a 5D cinema, a Flight Simulator and fun arcade games
o A full-length bowling alley with a glass wall that provides views out to sea, as families compete against each other

Friday, July 1, 2016

Royal Caribbean to Build World-Class Cruise Terminal in Miami

Always on the move and innovative, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced an agreement with Miami-Dade County to construct and operate a dramatic new cruise terminal at PortMiami, on land leased from the County. The new terminal will be a striking addition to PortMiami and will serve as homeport to Royal Caribbean International ships, including a 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ship, the world's largest cruise ships. The agreement will come before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners on July 6, 2016.

"We are truly excited to be working with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami to create not just another cruise terminal, but a truly iconic building," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "This new terminal is a symbol of our commitment to Miami, the city where our company first started almost 50 years ago. We can't wait to bring an Oasis-class ship to PortMiami."

After a global competition was held between five of the world's leading architectural firms, Broadway Malyan has been selected as the firm to design the new terminal. The firm was selected because of their creative thinking and cutting-edge design. The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the 'Crown of Miami' because of its distinct shape. The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear and the crown of Royal Caribbean's iconic "Crown & Anchor" logo when viewed from the water; the 'M' of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal's facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape.

Currently, PortMiami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, representing about 15 percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million passengers at PortMiami—representing no less than 30 percent of the port's projected passenger traffic.

Image Courtesy Royal Caribbean