Cruise Clippings: Week of October 21, 2013

IMG_4600 Norwegian Cruise Line has a present for parents: kids sail free on a range of sailings fleetwide in November and December 2013, offering incredible family fun.  Available through November 8, 2013, Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free offer is applicable on new reservations and is combinable with most other offers, including the “Let’s Cruise” sales event, on now. Fares start at $399.

Jacksonville, Florida is celebrating 10 years in the cruise business. Currently the Jacksonville Cruise Terminal hosts the 2,052-guest Carnival Fascination with year-round four and five day Bahamas sailings.

The holiday season is always a joyful time aboard Princess Cruises ships around the world, and this year is no exception. Passengers enjoying seagoing holiday cruises will find some new activities onboard as well as favorite celebrations to make sure the season is merry and bright. The festivities begin with spirited Halloween and Thanksgiving cruises and continue with fun-filled cruises over Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Day.

On Cruise Radio this week we talked to Vickie Bowne of Cruising Princess Cruise Lines with Vickie. Vickie reviews the Emerald Princess and gives us the details on Princess. Cruise Guy joins us with the weeks cruise news featuring Carnival, Norwegian, Seabourn, Windstar and how the government shutdown affected the economy. Hear the broadcast here.

We recently returned from American Cruise Line’s 150-guest Queen of the Mississippi, read our voyage reports here.

American Cruise Lines released a special Mardi Gras sailing from New Orleans. Guests aboard will participate in on-board mask marking, a Fat Tuesday celebration and dinner at Antoine’s with American Cruise Lines President Charles Robertson.

At an event held at the Port of Québec cruise terminal, Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Québec Port Authority (QPA), recognized the captain and crew of the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) for the noble gesture of coming to the aid of Mylène Paquette in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On September 26 of this year, the QM2 deviated from its course to offer assistance to Ms. Paquette, who several days earlier had equipment broken that was vital to her voyage. The Captain and his crew provided her with food supplies, a satellite phone and a drogue anchor, which serves to keep her rowboat on course.

Costa Cruises’ Costa Victoria is to return to service Nov. 11 following an US$18 million dry-dock upgrade completed in Singapore. Totally refurbished with new balconies, terraces and windows, Costa Victoria boasts an “Italy at Sea” theme that is translated in every detail of the upgraded ship, from the exquisite food to the bright colors and tailored service. The renewed Costa Victoria will be a testament to authentic Italian fashion, but also will be perfectly tailored for the unique tastes and needs of the Asian market.

Guy Fieri and his family take to the sea for fun, adventure  and killer food aboard the Carnival Breeze in a new television special, Guy’s Family Cruise, premiering on Food Network Monday, October 28 at 9 p.m. ET. The family dines together at the ship’s Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and indulges in Italian family-style favorites at Cucina del Capitano.  While at sea, they have some fun at WaterWorks, slipping down the 312-foot Twister slide and getting soaked by the 300-gallon PowerDrencher splash bucket.

Windstar Cruises announced the line’s debut in Southeast Asia & Arabia on its new 212-passenger power yacht, Star Pride. The new voyages open for sale today and feature five unique itineraries exclusive to the all suite yacht, highlighting small ship ports throughout Asia, Arabia, and India. The inaugural Southeast Asia & Arabia season will begin on October 30, 2014.

Norwegian Cruise Line has launched a new Gift Card that can be redeemed toward the purchase of a cruise or onboard expenditures, making it easier for guests to give the gift of cruising to friends and loved ones. Gift Cards are prepaid cards that are available in set denominations of $25, $50, $100, $250 and $500, as well as in customizable amounts of up to $1000. The cards can be used toward cruise purchases on, through a travel partner or toward a guest’s onboard experiences such as pampering spa treatments, shore excursions, dinners in one of Norwegian’s specialty restaurants and much more.

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