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MSC Lirica to Sail from the United Arab Emirates

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MSC Cruises is expanding their range of cruises from the United Arab Emirates. Featuring 11 and 14-night cruises, MSC Lirica will be making her debut there in November 2018 offering longer itineraries, two overnight stays in Dubai, and cruises to India for the first time. MSC Splendida will also sail the region during winter 2018/2019, offering shorter 7-night voyages.

Delights of India

This year, for the first time, MSC will offer cruises to India from Dubai. Guests will call in busy Abu Dhabi, followed by the picturesque Muscat, before crossing the Arabian Sea and calling in Mumbai – India’s front door. The voyage will also stop in Goa and Mangalore.

Extended Winter Sun

For those searching for a longer getaway, MSC Cruises’ 11-night voyages from Dubai and Abu Dhabi will provide the perfect escape. Sir Bani Yas, an exclusive island oasis to MSC Cruises on the day they call there, offers guests pristine beaches, water activities, and access to the region’s largest nature reserve. The Pearl-Qatar, Doha’s man-made island, spans over 10 million square feet and is home to beaches, a wide range of shopping, and over 100 bars and restaurants. Khasab, Oman is one of the Arabian Peninsula’s most striking cities, and Manama, Bahrain’s charming capital, is a metropolis filled with culture and intrigue.

More Time to Explore

MSC Cruises is also introducing two overnight stays in Dubai as part of their new schedules. Guests will be able to take in the sights of the legendary evening skyline from the comfort of MSC Lirica. Beyond this, passengers will be able to witness the night sky in Muscat, where the sun sets over the domes and minarets of the historic port city.

Shore Excursions for Every Port

MSC is committed to providing guests a wide range of excursions in each port. Guests that book excursions in advance will also enjoy a 20 percent discount. Some highlights include:

  • Exclusive Dubai: Burj Khalifa & Lunch at Burj Al Arab – This excursion takes in some of the most iconic symbols of Dubai, including the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the seven-star luxury hotel Burj Al Arab, and the man-made island Palm Juneirah. Guests can also visit Dubai’s famous gold souk, and experience Dubai’s traditional way of life.
  • Mystical Muscat – This excursion allows guests to commune with Oman’s spiritual and cultural heritage, on a tour from the Grand Mosque to old Muscat and the Muttrah Souk, a traditional Omani market. Guests will also stop at the Bait Al Zubair Museum, to discover archaeological finds and see the traditional dress and jewelry of Oman.
  • Crocodiles, Mangrove, & River Cruise in Goa – Guests have the chance to discover Goa’s beautiful landscape on this unique river cruise. Among the mangroves along the Cumbarjua River, travelers are met by the impressive birdlife and freshwater crocodiles.

A Grand Adventure

For those seeking an extended adventure, MSC’s Grand Voyages offer a unique opportunity to traverse the historic Suez Canal. MSC Lirica will offer two opportunities for a Grand Voyage with longer itineraries featuring a variety of unique ports.

November 2 – 19, 2018: 17-night cruise sailing from Venice, Italy to Katakolon, Greece; Piraeus, Greece; Heraklion, Greece; Aqaba, Jordan; Salalah, Oman; Muscat, Oman; Khasab, Oman; and ending in Dubai for an overnight stay.

March 15 – April 4, 2019: 20-night sailing from Dubai with stops in Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Eilat, Israel; Aqaba, Jordan; Limassol, Cyprus; Piraeus, Greece; Katakalon, Greece; Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Croatia; and ending in Venice, Italy.

MSC Lirica will offer ten cruises embarking from either Dubai or Abu Dhabi starting at $1,369 per person for a balcony cabin. MSC Splendida will also be based in the United Arab Emirates for the winter 2018-2019 season offering 7-night cruises with two embarkation ports: Dubai on Saturday and Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

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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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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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