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MSC Cruises Reveals 2019/2020 Winter Schedule

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MSC Cruises has revealed the schedule for the October 2019 to March 2020 winter season. With 17 ships and a large array of destinations around the world, the line has an itinerary for every guest looking for a winter cruise getaway.

Mediterranean

With bookings opening on March 5, 2018, MSC Grandiosa is one of two ships that will enter into service in 2019, and will be spending her inaugural winter season in the western Mediterranean. The ship is named to signify magnificence and grandeur, which will be fitting for the ultra-modern mega ship.

MSC Sinfonia will offer longer 11, 12, and 14-night cruises in the Mediterranean for those looking for a longer break. New for this season will be a 14-night voyage that calls at the historic port of Haifa, Israel with two full days to explore Jerusalem and Bethlehem. This new itinerary also calls in Civitavecchia (Rome), Messina, Genoa, Barcelona, Marseille, Rhodes, Limassol, and Heraklion.

Sinfonia will also be sailing a new 12-night itinerary from Genoa to exotic destinations across the Mediterranean and Atlantic. Destinations include the sun-drenched island of Tenerife and the Moroccan city of Tangier, known for its huge local markets and white-washed hillsides. Other highlights include the Roman-Spanish city of Cartagena, the Gothic-tinted Portuguese city of Funchal, and Civitavecchia which is the port entry to Rome.

North America

Before MSC Meraviglia begins cruising from Miami, MSC has introduced new voyages from New York City. The ship will offer two 10-night cruises from the Big Apple, calling in Bar Harbor, Boston, Portland, Charlottetown, Corner Brook, Halifax, Québec, St. John, and Sydney. Prior to arriving in New York, Meraviglia will complete a 17-night transatlantic cruise from Kiel, Germany with ports of call in Denmark, the UK and Ireland, Iceland, and Canada.

Caribbean

During the 2019-2020 winter season, MSC Cruises will deploy six ships in the Caribbean. A key highlight will be the opening of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, a new private island just for MSC guests. The Bahamian paradise will offer 40 acres of golden beaches split into six unique areas. MSC Seaside, Meraviglia, Divina, and Armonia will all call at the island’s specially-built pier, so that no tendering is required to get to shore.

From her new Miami homeport, Meraviglia will offer two itineraries in the western Caribbean. MSC Seaside will continue to sail seven nights from Miami to the eastern and western Caribbean.

MSC Seaside

MSC Divina will return from the Mediterranean in November 2019 offering two long cruise from Miami. The ship will offer an 11-night voyage to Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. A 10-night cruise will include Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Maarten, Tortola, and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.

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MSC Preziosa will offer two embarkation ports in the French Antilles, setting sail from Fort de France in Martinique and Pointe-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe. The two 7-night/7-port cruises can also be combined into a 14-night cruise, visiting Tortola, St. Maarten, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines.

United Arab Emirates

MSC Cruises will be introducing one of its newest ships to the United Arab Emirates. MSC Bellissima will enter service in March 2019 in the Mediterranean, and then will move to the Middle East for winter. There, it will offer two different 7-night itineraries taking guests to Sir Bani Yas Island, exclusive to MSC guests when in port, and to Khasab and Muscat in Oman or Bahrain and Qatar. MSC Lirica will join Bellissima in the region with a series of long cruises in the Persian Gulf. The 14-night cruise includes calls in the Indian ports of Mumbai and Goa with an overnight, while the 11-night stops in Muscat and an overnight stay in Oman.

World Cruise

With a brand new itinerary, MSC’s second World Cruise will commence on MSC Magnifica from Civitavecchia, Genoa, Barcelona, and Marseilles in January 2020. With more than 40 destinations in 23 countries, guests will be able to cross five continents on a three-month plus voyage to some of the world’s most popular destinations.

The earlier you book with MSC, the better the benefits. By booking ahead guests can enjoy significant savings and a wider choice of cabins within the Fantastica, Aurea, or MSC Yacht Club experiences. To learn more, visit msccruises.com.

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Carnival Horizon Makes Inaugural Call in Canadian Port

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Carnival Cruise Line’s brand new Vista-class ship Carnival Horizon made her first-ever call in Halifax, Nova Scotia yesterday.

The day was a welcome change for cruise passengers; it was the first port stop after six days at sea crossing the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean. Ship officers as well as local officials held a traditional plaque ceremony in the Library onboard, where a plaque was given to the ship by the Port of Halifax and other tokens were exchanged, including a model of the ship given to the port by Carnival Cruise Line.

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Carnival Horizon is the sister-ship to Carnival Vista, which pioneered a number of new concepts for Carnival including the SkyRide bicycling attraction and the Dreamscape LED sculpture in the atrium. Some of Horizon’s unique new features include a sit-down barbecue smokehouse and brewery as well as a Cat in the Hat themed WaterWorks water park.

Click here for a video of the ship headed into the Port of Halifax.

Click here for our article on all of the free food found aboard Carnival Horizon.

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Everything Carnival Horizon, Part 10: Before You Disembark

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Hard as it is to believe, our time together exploring Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ships is coming to an end. But before that can happen, we need to take one last spin around the Carnival Horizon… just to make sure you aren’t missing anything!

How Do You Spend That Final Day?

Nobody likes to think about disembarkation, yet that seems to be what the mind winds up focusing on during those final 24 hours of any cruise. You’re not even off the ship yet, but the mind begins wandering to the work that will be waiting on your desk or the unmowed lawn waiting to be tended. Our best advice: Given that you are on a Carnival ship, do as they advice and Choose Fun for as long as you possibly can.

Sure, you’ll have to pack your suitcase eventually… but the last day of your vacation is when you should slow down enough to soak it all in. Give yourself a little extra time to sit in a quiet spot, staring out at the sea and taking mental photographs. Have a long, leisurely brunch (during which you allow yourself to have a second, and maybe even a third, Bloody Mary. Head to Cherry on Top and get one more of those amazing ice cream sandwiches, which you know you’re going to have cravings for once you get back home.

Choose your cookie. Choose your ice cream. Choose your toppings. Eat. Could anything be simpler?

One thing we’d definitely recommend you do in advance: If you have a specialty restaurant you want to enjoy that final dinner-at-sea in, make a reservation. For many people, dining at the Steakhouse, for example, is a perfect capper to their cruise. Tomorrow, they’ll be back to making their own dinner and clearing their own tables, so why not have one final high-end meal?

Go ahead, live a little… it’s the last night of your cruise!

Another thing you definitely want to make sure to do on that final evening is head to the casino to cash in any winnings you might have! One of our favorite ways to make sure we go home with a little money? Cashing out whenever we have a decent win on a slot machine, putting a fresh $20 bill in the game… and sticking those tickets into the safe in our stateroom and not touching them until the week is over. When it’s time to head upstairs on the final night and pack our bags, we grab those tickets and cash them out.

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One way we fight the melancholy that can often set in on the final day is by booking another trip, which on the Carnival Horizon can be done by visiting the future cruise desk on deck 10. Then, having put it off as long as we possibly could, we finally head back to the room and pack. After spending a fair amount of time deciding what to bring and what to leave behind during the days building up to the cruise, the packing-to-disembark process is a lot quicker and easier. You know the drill: Throw everything into the suitcase, don’t even bother folding it, taking as little time as possible.

The saddest thing ever? Seeing all the suitcases lining the hallways, waiting to be collected on that final night.

If you need any information at all about the disembarkaton process, make sure to check the Fun Times or ask at Guest Services. But don’t leave this until the last morning… trust us, the staff will have their hands full trying to get everyone off the ship so that a whole new group of passengers can board and begin their vacations! In fact, if you have anything at all you need to deal with Guest Services about, try not to wait until that last evening, because the place can become a bit of a zoo!

And remember that there is no room service available on that final morning, so if you want to grab one last free meal, you’ll have to actually leave the room… or at least convince one of your traveling companions to do so! Again, consulting the Fun Times will tell you where you can go for that final meal, whether it’s a sit-down breakfast or just grabbing some coffee to get yourself going!

Sadly, it is here that we, too, must part ways. Here’s hoping that you’ve enjoyed our special, in-depth look at the Carnival Horizon. Keep checking back for more information on not only this ship but the upcoming Carnival Panorama, which we’re already excited to explore!

 

 

 

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Cruise News

Property Brothers to Set Sail on Royal Caribbean Ship

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Royal Caribbean and the Property Brothers themselves, Drew and Jonathan Scott, are excited to announce a special upcoming cruise aboard Mariner of the Seas. 

Fans can join the twins this December 3 to 7 on a four-night voyage aboard the ship, which will have just completed a $90 million renovation this year. Sailing With the Scotts will include presentations with the brothers, as well as panel discussions and workshops. Attendees will also get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the latest season of Brother vs. Brother, as well as a personal session of 20 Questions with Drew and Jonathan. The twins will also host shore excursions, meet & greets, photo sessions, and dance lessons, as well as their Scott Living Showroom at Sea, featuring a sneak peek of new pieces from the brothers’ own home goods collection.

photo: Sailing with the Scotts

The brothers will be donating $25 to the charity WE (formerly known as Free The Children) for each stateroom sold for this special sailing. Every $25 will provide one person with access to clean water for life in a developing community.

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Cuisine aboard the ship includes sushi, hibachi, freshly made pasta at Jamie’s Italian, and bar bites and arcade games at Playmaker Sports Bar & Arcade. The vessel will also feature the new Bamboo Room tiki lounge.

During the day, travelers can enjoy rock climbing, ice skating, surfing on the FlowRider, and the new Sky Pad – a virtual reality, bungee jumping adventure, as well as an escape room and glow-in-the-dark laser tag.

For more information on this special cruise, visit sailingwiththescotts.com.

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