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Holy Ship Cruises on Norwegian Epic Planned for January

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The Norwegian Epic has a special event called the Holy Ship taking place in January 2018, and it seems like an ideal adventure for fans of partying, luxury, and numerous fun-filled activities. Highlights include a spa with some unusual features, an ice bar, and a casino. In addition to these things, there is a heavy focus on onboard parties with well-known guest DJs playing at various mini-events including Moving Castle and Kaskade Redux. Let’s take a look at what cruisers can expect on their sailing.

Holy Ship – Itinerary

holy ship

Photo: NCL

Holy Ship is an annual dance festival held on a 4,000+ capacity cruise ship. There are two back-to-back sailings, with the first due to leave Port Canaveral just outside of Orlando in Florida on January 6, 2018, travel around locations in the Bahamas, and return four days later, on January 10. The second will leave on the 10th, and return on the 13th. Both cruises will stop at the idyllic Great Stirrup Cay, which is a private island with only five official inhabitants. Here, the partygoers will be able to experience paradise on Earth first hand. The early New Year trips will mark the sixth year since the successful cruise’s inception in 2012.

Parties

Holy ship

Photo: Holy Ship

The Norwegian Epic is no stranger to major musical events and parties, but the Holy Ship festival has to be the wildest of them all. Some of the hottest DJs on the planet are scheduled to tear up the dance floor and provide guests with an unparalleled party experience. Some of the famous disc spinners appearing on the massive cruise liner include A-Trak, Baauer, and Claude Vonstroke. With over 100 acts scheduled for the two trips, there really is something for everyone.

A Unique Experience

Tickets for this very popular and unique cruise experience are in such high demand that they sold out soon after it was announced. Previous partygoers got first refusal, and then sales were opened up to the general public. Anyone still interested in having this music and dance experience can join a waiting list to have a chance of getting a place. For the lucky ones who get to step foot on this 155,873-ton cruise liner with a guest capacity of over 4,100 people, there are plenty of one-of-a-kind, luxury amenities that are some of the best in the business. Here are a few of the standout features onboard the ship.

The Mandara Spa

We all know that cruisers love a spa, and nowadays some of the offerings on the giant ships are far superior to anything you could find on land. To stand any chance of stacking up against the best cruise ships in the business is to have a spa worthy of winning awards, and the Norwegian Epic offering, the Mandara Spa, does not disappoint. Of course, all the classic treatments such as manicures, pedicures, and massages are available. But where this spa really stands out from the crowd is in its more obscure offerings. Some of the special features include a fire and ice pedicure, acupuncture treatments, teeth whitening, and a seaweed massage. The highlight of the Mandara, though, is truly extravagant. It’s a 24 carat gold facial treatment which costs $325. For those who want to experience the epitome of opulence, this is a must.

The Casino

The casino is one of the most important facets of many a cruise ship, and the one on the Norwegian Epic does not disappoint. In fact, it is the largest casino offered by Norwegian Cruise Line on any of their ships. There is a wide range of options available when it comes to games: There are poker games, where players will have to make the best of their bluffing skills, blackjack tables, on which players will be able to split, double down, or surrender, and roulette wheels on which players can make inside or outside bets. There are also a number of themed slot games from well-known developers like IGT available for people who like to spin the reels.

Restaurants & Bars

The Holy Ship is famed for its parties, but there are also a number of impressive restaurants and bars for customers to enjoy if they fancy a change from the wild antics on deck. The range of cuisine is astounding, with Asian offerings at Shanghai’s Noodle Bar and Shanghai’s Chinese Restaurant, Irish classics at O’Sheehan’s, and English favourites at Garden Café. One of the most memorable and unique places to get a drink is the Ice Bar. The frozen watering hole is -17 degrees, and visitors are supplied with parkas and gloves.

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The Norwegian Epic has it all, and the Holy Ship events are the highlights of the year for fans of dancing and partying accompanied by unrivalled luxury. Those who didn’t manage to acquire tickets for the January trips may want to consider getting on the waiting list for the next events.

Have you sailed on a Holy Ship sailing before? What was it like?

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Carnival Cruise Line

Inside The Party For Carnival Horizon [PHOTOS]

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Given that Queen Latifah is the Godmother of Carnival’s newest ship, you had to know a good time was going to be had by all at the Carnival Horizon’s official naming ceremony. Held in New York City on a picture-perfect afternoon, the event featured plenty of food, lots of drink, singing, dancing and even a pretty substantial charitable donation.

Welcome To Flavortown

Things got under way with a ribbon-cutting ceremony as celebrity chef Guy Fieri welcomed guests to the latest outpost of Flavortown, the Pig & Anchor Smokehouse/Brewhouse. With live music playing, servers dished out hearty helpings of the venue’s signature foods, including trashcan nachos, dragon chili cheese fries and a pecan pie that was, according to the genuine Southern belle at our table, “to die for.”

Guy Fieri and brewmeister Colin Presby, doing the honors.

After that, the traditional naming ceremony kicked off with Brand Ambassador John Heald offering up a tip of the hat to “the one man to blame” for the fact that “I now have X’s in the back of everything I’m wearing,” Fieri.

Next up was the traditional prayer of blessing, followed by Carnival president Christine Duffy welcoming everyone aboard before discussing the very special bond between the cruise line and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Speaking proudly of the $16 million dollars raised by Carnival since the partnership first began in 2010, Duffy then presented the hospital with a check for another $100,000 and directed everyone’s eyes to the 24-foot Dreamscape, which anchors the atrium and now features among it’s displays 33 pieces of art created by St. Jude patients.

Artwork done by St. Jude patients lit up the Dreamscape.

Next up was the ship’s Godmother, Queen Latifah, who also happens to be a major supporter of St. Jude. After thanking the crowd “for looking so good,” Latifah asked everyone to take another look at the artwork-adorned Dreamscape. “My mom was an art teacher,” she said of her recently-deceased parent, “so I appreciate what the kids do. I know what it does for a child’s heart to create like that.”

Of being Godmother to a cruise ship, Latifah admitted it was “one of the coolest things I’ve ever been asked to be a part of in my life!” She was then joined on stage by Captain Luigi De Angelis and, together, they poured an oversized bottle of champagne (“This is the only time the captain will hold a bottle of champagne like this,” quipped Heald) over the ship’s inaugural season bell.

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“Only at Carnival Cruise Line,” quipped Heald of the ceremony, “do we water the plants with Moet.”

With the official business of the day out of the way, it was time for the fun to start in the Liquid Lounge, where Latifah battled Philadelphia Eagles player Jake Elliot in an epic Lip Sync Battle hosted by popular Carnival cruise director Matt Mitcham. But before the main event could begin, the crowd was in for an unexpected treat when Duffy was joined on stage by Carnival Corp’s President and CEO, Arnold Donald, for a lip synched performance of The Black Eyed Peas’ party anthem “I Gotta Feeling.”

Duffy and Donald proved they definitely choose fun.

With Duffy cheering on Elliot, and Donald firmly in the Queen’s corner, the main event began. And while footballer Elliott took the pumped-up crowd back to the days of MTV’s Headbangers Ball by donning a massive wig to perform Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” this was Latifah’s battle to lose. And if you know anything about the singer/actor/businesswoman — who also happens to be a past Lip Sync Battle champion — it’s that she does not come to lose. The moment she and the Playlist Productions performers took to the stage to perform “It’s Raining Men,” it was all over but the cheering. Of the stripping background dancers, Mitcham joked that Latifah’s performance was “like Baywatch and Magic Mike went wild,” while Donald said that the dancers “inspired me to keep my shirt on!”  

Elliott put up a good fight, but he couldn’t dethrone the Queen.

Before being crowned the winner, Latifah admitted there was one thing about her new role which she’d found disappointing. “Shouldn’t Godmother’s have a wand?” she asked… only to promptly be presented one, with which she sprinkled “love dust over the crowd, even my sworn enemy Jake.”

The evening ended with a bang… or, more precisely, a whole lot of bangs.

With the scheduled events of the evening over, invited guests dispersed to enjoy the live entertainment taking place all around the ship, as well as movies in the Imax and Thriller Theaters, a party on the Lido deck, a midnight buffet and an impressive fireworks display that was, appropriately enough, set in part to the tune “New York, New York.” 

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June Special: Kids Sail Free to the Bahamas

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With summer around the corner, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has a special deal for families traveling with kids. Valid for all June cruises, those 16 and under will sail free if they’re staying in the same stateroom with two paying parents.

With the school year wrapping up and Father’s Day on June 17, it’s the perfect time for a quick escape to the Bahamas. Both of the line’s ships, Grand Classica and Grand Celebration offer a number of activities for guests on their way to the island. There are youth clubs divided by age, swimming pools, multiple dining options, a mini movie theater, mini rock climbing wall, a ball pit, and more.

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There’s also a number of shore excursions that families can take part in once they arrive, including snorkeling, a beach day, cruising the beach in an open-top Jeep, swimming with dolphins, parasailing, kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours, and more.

For more information, visit bahamasparadisecruiseline.com.

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Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Take Annual Photos on Cruise Ship

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The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have officially wrapped up their 2018 annual photo shoot, and this year a Miami-based cruise ship was the backdrop.

Over 20 of the cheerleaders sailed to the sunny Caribbean this month aboard MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside, donning a number of clothing styles for the photos while capturing the ship’s iconic design. The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Annual is set to be released at the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Fashion Show this fall.

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The cheerleaders also took part in photo shoot in ports along the way, including St. Maarten, San Juan, and Nassau. During the voyage, the cheerleaders engaged with guests throughout the cruise during a variety of activities, including at the sail away party, hosting youth cheer clinics, posing for photo ops, and doing special performances to entertain guests. To kick off the cruise, they provided a warm Miami Dolphins welcome by taking over the terminal with mascot “TD” to cheer guests into their vacation.

The annual photoshoot onboard MSC Seaside came on the heels of the Dolphins’ first ever Fan Cruise onboard the same ship in March. The voyage included football legend guests of honor including Kim Bokamper, Terry Kirby, Sam Madison, Nat Moore, Joe Rose and Patrick Surtain, for a week of themed activities. The team will be hosting their second cruise in 2019.

The Miami Dolphins and MSC Cruises are in the midst of a three-year partnership, which resulted in the Fan Cruise. It will be hosted annually over the next three years.

Photos: Miami Dolphins

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