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Cunard Reveals Enhancement Plans for Queen Mary 2



Cunard announced today new enhancements planned for Queen Mary 2; part of the most significant refit ever undertaken by Carnival UK.  There is also some enhancement news concerning Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria

The cruise line will be adding Britannia Club staterooms to Queen Victoria during her next dry dock, which is scheduled for June 2017.  These staterooms’  popularity exceeded Cunard’s expectations aboard Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, which brought them to the decision to add them to Victoria as well.

Queen Mary 2

Going in to dry dock from May 27 to June 21, Queen Mary 2 will see several onboard enhancements, including 15 new single staterooms, 30 more Britannia Club staterooms, and an expansion of the ship’s kennel for cats and dogs.  All staterooms will be finished with their refurbishments by the beginning of the 2017 World Cruise.

Queen Mary 2 will also see enhancements in their luxurious Queens Grill Duplex Apartment and Penthouse Suites, and tea and coffee makers will be added to every cabin aboard the ship.

“Inspired by the Original” Video

In addition to the planned ship enhancements, Cunard also revealed today a new video called “Inspired by the Original,” which is a tribute to one of their most beloved ocean liners, Queen Mary.  The ship is the inspiration for the upcoming enhancements to the cruise line’s current flagship, Queen Mary 2.

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Queen Mary was considered a symbol of recovery from the Great Depression, as she entered into service in 1936.  She was the most popular ship on the Atlantic before retiring to California in 1967, where she remains as a hotel and museum.  The ship, along with her sister Queen Elizabeth, had quite a war record, which led Churchill to comment that Cunard had shortened WWII by “at least a year.”  It’s only right that her namesake takes inspiration from the original Queen ship herself.

Cunard’s director of hotel design and projects, Alison Clixby, worked closely with British interior design form SMC to create the new interiors for Queen Mary 2.  It will feature marble, brass, and bronze fittings, but with a modern flair.  Queen Mary décor will be around the entire ship, including the restaurants, suites, and even kennels.  The Verandah Restaurant will feature circus-inspired artwork and a carpet design similar to the very first one aboard Queen Mary.

In addition to using Queen Mary as a reference for the new designs, Cunard has reached into their past with art deco chandeliers, fixtures, and fittings to transform the Kings Court buffet, inspired by the grand Booking Hall in Liverpool.  All suites and staterooms will feature images of the historic Cunard Buildings that were captured by photographer Paul Ward.

Check out Cunard’s Youtube channel at

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Québec, Canada Wants Wintertime Cruise Guests



With the increased demand for cruises to Canada and New England, and the growing trend of cold weather cruises, Québec tourism and port officials recently invited representatives from Adventure Canada, Huerten-Groten and Ponant cruise lines to partake in the first-ever winter familiarization trip to the region.

A ship docked in Québec City – photo: Flickr/Visavis

The group visited Québec from February 8-14, and explored Montréal, Trois-Rivères, Québec, and Saguenay. Activities in Québec included a tour of the port, a taste of the winter Carnaval, a visit to the city’s famed ice hotel “Hotel de Glace,” and urban discovery tours. There was also a trip to Montmorency Falls and the Valcartier Vacation Village, the largest winter playground in America. It has over 35 snow slides, skating paths, snow rafting, 5,000 inner tubes and 17 mechanical lifts, plus ice skating, tobogganing, dog sledding, ski-dooing, and ice fishing.

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Other wintery activities were shown to the group in presentations and discussions. Hôtel 71 in Old Québec City hosted the group during their stay and Chlorophylle, a local manufacturer of upmarket outdoor gear outfitted them in warm year.

For information on activities in Québec City, click here.

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Cruise News

Jeff Foxworthy to Headline 2019 Country Music Cruise



The Country Music Cruise has announced their lineup for the 2019 sailing, and it’s full of talented superstars. The 2019 Country Music Cruise will set sail from January 29 to February 3, 2019 aboard Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam. 

Television star, author, and one of the world’s best comedians Jeff Foxworthy is set to headline the voyage. The Country Music Cruise has sold out each of its first five years, and the 2019 sailing is already nearly 70 percent filled.

Jeff Foxworthy

Emceeing the sixth annual cruise will be television and radio host Lorianne Crook, and back by popular demand will be a special Grand Ole Opry at Sea performance event. The following artists will be performing on this special cruise:

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  • The Oak Ridge Boys
  • Patty Loveless
  • Ronnie Milsap
  • Ricky Skaggs
  • Joe Diffie
  • The Bellamy Brothers
  • Shenandoah
  • Jimmy Fortune
  • Johnny Lee
  • David Ball
  • TG Sheppard
  • Jeannie Seely
  • Wade Hayes
  • Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys
  • Elvis Tribute Artists

Guests aboard the Country Music Cruise will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the stars. In addition to over 50 live performances, cruises can mingle with their favorite artists at theme nights, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations, jam sessions, meet and greets, autograph sessions, and more. The cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale and stop in Key West, St. Thomas, and Half Moon Cay. To book a cabin, visit

Read More: 5 First Impressions of Nieuw Amsterdam

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival $49 Early Saver Deposits Return



Carnival Cruise Line is having a 48 hour Early Saver sale on sailings through April 2020. The sale will last until midnight Thursday, February 22, 2018. Deposits start at $49 and go up to $199 if you’re planning an Alaska or Europe cruise.

Carnival’s Price Protection Guarantee is also in place during this sale, which covers you if the cruise price drops.

Deposits Start at $49 

  • $49 per person deposit is applicable to 2 – 9 day sailings
  • $149 per person deposit is applicable to Vista and Horizon sailings
  • $199 per person is applicable to 10+ days, Alaska and Europe sailings
  • Search Reduced Deposits

Carnival will honor your request for price protection if the reduction on the total amount paid for your booking results only from a lower cruise fare and not from the booked ancillary services, such as air, transfers, pre-paid gratuities, or Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses.

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  • Book by Thursday, January 22
  • Early Saver rates include free room upgrades, $50 onboard credit, plus Free Price Protection
  • Deposits are non-refundable

Sailings available on most ships through April 2020, including Carnival Horizon, Carnival Vista, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Victory, Carnival Elation and more.

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