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MSC Cruises Celebrates Two Construction Milestones

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MSC Cruises celebrated construction milestones for two of their ships today at the STX France shipyard. The traditional coin ceremony was held for MSC Bellissima, as well as the cutting of the first steel for the first Meraviglia-Plus class ship. As part of the steel-cutting ceremony, the name of the Meraviglia-Plus ship was revealed: MSC Grandiosa. 

The second part of the festivities was the coin ceremony for Bellissima, where two commemorative coins were placed into one of the ship’s blocks as a sign of blessing and good fortune for the ship, her crew, and guests. The two mega ships are due to enter into service in March 2019 and November 2019.

photo: MSC Cruises

The Meraviglia-Plus ships are a further evolution of the Meraviglia design, which includes both MSC Meraviglia that launched in June 2017, as well as Bellissima. They are 181,000 gross tons and can hold a whopping maximum capacity of 6,334 guests. The plus class ships will feature the first fine art museum at sea, with a collection of both classic and contemporary art.

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Another highlight aboard both ships will be Cirque du Soleil at Sea. The longterm partnership between MSC and Cirque du Soleil will see the world’s leader in artistic entertainment create a total of eight original shows just for MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia and Meraviglia-Plus ships. Each of the four vessels will feature two contrasting shows – two of which have already debuted aboard MSC Meraviglia earlier this year.

This past June, MSC Cruises launched MSC Meraviglia in France, and will welcome MSC Seaside to Miami in December. In June 2018, MSC Seaview will join the fleet. Sales are already open for Bellissima‘s inaugural summer season in the Mediterranean, and the opening date for Grandiosa will be announced soon.

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Cruise Trends You Will See in 2018

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The 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook was released by the Cruise Line International Association. The upcoming year will certainly be a big year for the cruise industry as current data shows cruise travel is steadily on the rise. A projected 27.2 million passengers expected to set sail in 2018!

Top Nine Cruise Trends for 2018

1. All Budgets Will Cruise 

There is a cruise for every budget, from a $159 quick weekend getaway to the Bahamas to a $40,000 three-month round-the-world cruise on a luxury line. Cruising is no longer only for the wealthy and the price of cruising has leveled out making it accessible to every household.

2. Transformational Cruise Travel 

This could be anything that transforms your cruise experience. From cultural immersion and voluntourism to extreme adventures, those returning from a cruise will have shift in perspective and a sense of accomplishment. Some upcoming cruise itineraries include the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine, guided tours through small villages and even visits inside private homes. Thrill-seekers can fill bucket lists with chances to swim with sharks in South Africa, ride a Harley Davidson in Alaska or mingle among penguins in the Arctic.

3. Sustainability at Sea 

Most cruise lines have an excellent record for being environmentally friendly, and now that’s involving cruise guests. Travelers can look forward participating in sustainable practices both onboard and off from recycling and waste management to popular voluntourism initiatives that focus on creating a positive environmental and social impact at destinations around the globe.

4. Millennials Take to the River

River and small ship cruising continues to gain traction among travelers, specifically the Millennial set. With ever-expanding itineraries and destination experiences that reach far beyond walking and coach tours and endless options for the perfect “Instagram moment,” the younger generation is embracing river cruising.

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5. Skip-Gen Cruising

Multigenerational cruising is projected to increase in popularity. But there’s a twist: “skip-generation” trips, with grandparents and grandchildren traveling together without their parents, are predicted to be highly popular in 2018 and beyond.

6. Travelers Seek Chilly Destinations 

The coming year is projected to see an increase in popularity of colder climate destinations including the Baltics, Canada, Alaska, and Antarctica. With an array of unique excursion options, from penguin watching to ice fishing, these winter wonder destinations are drawing in both new and repeat cruise travelers.

7. Healthy Doses

Travelers are seeking health and wellness trips more than ever before and the cruise industry is responding with services and experiences for the mind and body. Today’s cruise travelers can participate in onboard health wellness seminars led by popular health experts, custom fitness programs, stress management, and spa services. There are even entire cruise itineraries dedicated to weight management and healthy living including Weight Watchers cruises and menus for a variety of dietary needs from diabetic-friendly to plant-based.

8. Smart Travel Technology— The coming year there will be a rise in traveler-friendly onboard technologies. Several cruise lines are introducing wearable technology for cruise guests that provide a personalized and seamless experience while onboard. Ranging from keychains to bracelets to necklaces and more, wearable technology on cruises interacts with sensors on the ship in order to do everything from turning the lights on as a cruiser approaches their cabin to acting as a security agent.

READ MORE: 13 Ways Technology Has Changed Cruising

9. Tapping Travel Agents – Travel agents continue to see a steady demand from consumers in planning and executing vacations. Some of the largest factors behind continued popularity of travel agents? Ease of planning, valued expertise, and affordability.

What trends do you think we’ll see in 2018?

Featured image via Carnival Cruise Line

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Princess Cruises Sale Offering $99/Person/Day Fares

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The Caribbean is back up and running, and to celebrate Princess Cruises is offering their best fares of the season for the “Exclusively Caribbean Sale” on 7, 8, 10, and 14-day cruises departing February through April 2018.

Photo via Princess Cruises

With rates starting as low as $99 per guest per day, free gratuities, and third and fourth guest fares starting at $15 a day, escape the winter chill and head to the Caribbean for a sun-drenched vacation. Fares are based on double occupancy and are available in select stateroom categories and sailings. Gratuities added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts, or spa services aren’t included in the free gratuities.

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Princess Cruises’ “Exclusively Caribbean Sale” is running now through December 26, 2017 and is available for residents of the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and Bermuda who are 21 and older. Visit princess.com/deals for more details.

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Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Fascination Will Be Upgraded in 2018

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It was announced today that the Carnival Fascination will undergo a multi-million dollar dry dock in 2018 that will enhance the ship’s public areas.

The spaces will be added during a two-week dry dock taking place Feb. 4-17, 2018, in Freeport, The Bahamas, prior to the ship resuming its year-round schedule of seven-day southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan, Puerto Rico, beginning Feb. 18, 2018.

“We can’t wait for our guests to experience these exciting new features aboard Carnival Fascination when she returns to her year-round homeport of San Juan early next year,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, adding that other Carnival ships began visiting San Juan as a port of call Nov. 30.

The new food and beverage options aboard Carnival Fascination include:

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  • Guy’s Burger Joint: a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries enjoyed amidst a décor that celebrates the chef’s California roots and love of car culture.
  • RedFrog Rum Bar: a poolside watering hole offering the quintessential Caribbean vacation vibe with refreshing Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red.
  • BlueIguana Cantina: a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar.
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar: a fun and festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beers, perfect for chillin’ by the pool.
  • Cherry on Top: The “sweetest spot on board,” Cherry on Top is the gateway to the joys of simple indulgences with bins of bulk candy, fun-and-fanciful gifts, just-because novelties, colorful custom apparel and more.
  • Alchemy Bar: a vintage-themed cocktail “pharmacy” that’s the go-to spot for guests seeking a unique experience with mixologists who “prescribe” concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients or guests’ own custom-created cocktails.
  • Bonsai Sushi Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual, convenient yet equally tasty offshoot featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.

Carnival Fascination is currently being chartered to FEMA to house relief workers in St. Croix.

Source: Carnival

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Hi, this may be of interest to you: MSC Cruises Celebrates Two Construction Milestones. This is the link: https://cruiseradio.net/msc-cruises-celebrates-two-construction-milestones/