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Wine, Dine & Music Cruise Offers Mouthwatering Deal



wine dine and music cruise

photo: RCI

By Nancy Schretter

Imagine sailing from Tampa to the sunny Western Caribbean for seven nights in an oceanview or balcony stateroom aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. Such a tantalizing cruise during the month of November would probably cost well over $1500 per person for an average guest. Add in seven award-winning wineries, renowned California chefs, and platinum-selling recording artists such as Kenny Loggins and Three Dog Night. Suddenly the value becomes even greater.

Now add a special package that gives every cabin one bottle of wine per night from each of the seven wineries, plus in-depth seminars on wine and food. If such a package was purchased separately on the Brilliance of the Seas, the price would be over $500 including gratuities. That would bring the cost of this cruise to $1750 per person, right? Not on the Wine, Dine & Music Cruise. Right now, oceanview staterooms on this week-long November cruise start at only $699 per person. What a steal!

This inaugural full ship charter of the beautiful Brilliance of the Seas features special menus and food tastings by top chef John Ash, the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine,” and chef Catherine Venturini. John Ash will be offering his popular seminar, “Marriage of Food and Wine” to cruise guests, while Catherine will delight foodies with her small plates and hors d’oeuvres. Food-loving passengers will also be able to enjoy the many dining choices available onboard the Brilliance of the Seas. In addition to choosing from delectable dishes in the complimentary main dining room, guests can try out some of Royal Caribbean’s signature specialty dining venues including Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table and the pan-Asian cuisine of Izumi.

Seven top flight California wineries will be onboard offering wine tasting opportunities hosted by either their winemaker or their wine club manager. These specially chosen wineries include Truett-Hurst, Dutcher Crossing, Sapphire Hill, Two Amigos, Robert Young, Flora Springs and Rodney Strong. In addition, mixologist Pam Bushling and Sommelier Deb Del Fiorentino will be educating guests as well. Wine, Dine & Music cruise guests can learn more about wine and spirits throughout their vacation at complimentary wine seminars and Introduction to Mixology classes.

Music is certainly an important part of the Wine, Dine & Music cruise vacation experience. On this seven-night sailing, all guests will be able to attend free nightly live concerts with major recording artists including Kenny Loggins, Three Dog Night, World Classic Rockers, Nestor Torres and more. Kenny Loggins and Three Dog Night have platinum-selling albums. World Classic Rockers is comprised of former members of leading rock bands including Journey, Steppenwolf, Boston, Santana and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Nestor Torres delights audiences with his smooth jazz sounds. In addition to the evening shows, guests can get up-close-and-personal with some of their favorite artists at meet n’ greet gatherings, jam sessions, and special performances on sea days. Additional recording artists will be onboard as well.

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The Wine, Dine & Music cruise departs Tampa on November 9, 2013 and visits Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya on its week-long sailing. All of the ship’s interior cabins are sold out at this time. Oceanview and balcony staterooms are going fast as well, so book soon. For more information, visit the cruise’s website at

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Princess Cruises Wants You To ‘Flee the Freeze’



Princess Cruises is offering a special opportunity for travelers to “Flee the Freeze” as temperatures dip below zero throughout the United States. On 7, 8, 10, and 14-day sailings to the Caribbean this year, New Jersey residents can take advantage of up to 32 percent off cruise fares and $32 in onboard spending money per person. (32 degrees being the freezing point, get it?)

Escape the winter chill and hit the sun-drenched Caribbean beaches this year. Sample cruises include:

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  • 7-day Eastern Caribbean – inside cabin $599 per person
  • 7-day Western Caribbean – inside cabin $599 per person
  • 8-day Southern Caribbean – inside cabin $649 per person
  • 10-day Eastern Caribbean Voyager – inside cabin $849 per person

Fares are based on double occupancy. The offer is combinable with the current Anniversary Sale promotion, where guests can earn up to $300 in onboard spending money. The “Flee the Freeze” offer is running now through January 22, 2018.

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Royal Caribbean Wants You to Find Your Adventure Personality



With the winter blues in full swing – and half of the northeast region covered in snow (not an actual calculation) – many travelers are dreaming of where they want to vacation next. Royal Caribbean has teamed up with the international authority on personality research, Myers-Briggs, to create a convenient way for travelers to navigate the possibilities for their next adventure from beginning to end.

The easy, 13-question quiz draws on The Myers-Briggs Company’s knowledge of personality types, and assess a person’s motivations and interpersonal needs that most affect their travel preferences. Once complete, quiz-takers receive a unique description of who they are as a traveler and suggested destinations and activities that might suit them.

The Adventure Personality quiz will be available all throughout what is known as “Wave Season” in the cruise industry, where potential guests are busy planning warm vacations and the best offers are available for the year ahead. To find your adventure personality, visit

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Carnival Cruise Line

Fate of the Carnival Triumph Revealed



With Carnival Cruise Line execs routinely speaking about reducing the size of their fleet and little known about the Carnival Triumph’s future itineraries, some fans worried the ship might be on its way out. But fans of the Triumph can relax, as it was announced today that the ship will be sailing a variety of itineraries from three different ports… including a 2019 stay in New York City.

Carnival Triumph Hits Numerous Ports

The Triumph, which joined the fleet in 1999, will take on an exciting new slate of sailings during the 2019-20 season, immediately after undergoing a major refurbishment that will see her receiving a variety of new venues to compliment the ones she already has, which include the always-popular Guy’s Burger Joint, RedFrog Rum Bar, BlueIguana Cantina Tequila Bar and Alchemy Bar. The new itineraries will see her sailing from New York, Fort Lauderdale and Norfolk.

Exciting News For New York Homeporters

Perhaps most exciting to New Yorkers will be the return of shorter voyages from the port. The Carnival Triumph will sail four-day cruises to Bermuda in 2019 — being billed as “long weekends” — on May 23, June 20, July 18, August 15 and September 12. For those wanting to trade The Big Apple for Bermuda a few days longer, the ship will sail a six-day Bermuda trip on June 24, 2019. That trip will include a two-night stay in Bermuda. And on June 24, 2019, the Triumph will sail an 8-day cruise out of NYC that will include two nights on Bermuda and a visit to Grand Turk.

View Carnival Triumph Deck Plans

For those wanting to go North instead of South, Carnival will also offer three 7-day cruises — departing on September 22, September 29 and October 6 of 2019 — visiting New England and the Canadian Maritimes.

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Finally, the New York City sailings will offer 8- and 10-day options, as well as a 14-day Carnival Journeys cruise departing May 27, 2019, and visiting the Panama Canal, Grand Turk, Grand Cayman, Costa Rica and Half Moon Cay.

Details On Triumph’s Florida Visit

(photo: Port Everglades)

The Carnival Triumph will also sail out of Fort Lauderdale in 2019, doing 4- and 5-day cruises in April before heading to New York, and then picking up these itineraries again from November 2019 (after completing her Big Apple trips) until April 2020. In fact, at this point, Carnival is the only cruise line slated to offer a short-cruise itinerary from Fort Lauderdale, which should prove wildly appealing to the ever-growing population of people looking to take a cruise, but not necessarily having a week or more to commit. The 4-day sailings will depart on Thursdays and visit Nassau as well as either Half Moon or Princess Cay. The 5-day trips will depart on Mondays and swing by Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman.

Triumph’s Trip To Norfolk

Finally, the Carnival Triumph will also sail 5- and 6-day cruises to the Bahamas out of Norfolk, Virginia during May and October of 2019.

“We’re delighted to offer this unique schedule on Carnival Triumph,” says Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy of the ship’s port-hopping slate of itineraries. “With such an array of cruise choices, vacationers have the opportunity to enjoy short, value-packed getaways to tropical destinations [or] longer-length departures visiting spectacular ports of call!”

Will you sail Carnival Triumph out of New York City?

Featured photo Carnival Cruise Line 

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