Category Archives: Cruise

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7 Cruise Disembarkation Tips

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Category : Cruise

Sadly, your cruise has come to an end, and its time to disembark the ship. As the process is comparable to everyone in a sold-out hotel checking out on the very same morning, it can be a busy and complicated one. However, weve gathered seven tips to make it all that much easier.

Dont Book a Flight Too Early

When arranging your flights to and from a cruise long before first boarding, its important to not book your return airfare too early on the day of disembarkation. Just because your ship may be scheduled to arrive in its final port at say 7 a.m. doesnt necessarily mean youll be able to get off right away and transfer to the airport in time for an early morning departure. In fact, the ship still needs to clear customs, and the crew needs to begin offloading passenger luggage. Usually, its not advised to book a flight before 11 a.m., and unexpected delays can make an afternoon one a safer bet.

Verify Your Account Statement Ahead of Time

Final account statements are delivered to guest cabins late on the final night of the cruise or early morning on the day of departure. To avoid any surprise charges and a need to resolve them at an overrun reception desk at the last minute, its best to get a printout beforehand to confirm that everything looks as it should, particularly if you need to settle your account should a credit card not already be on file.

Put Out Enough Clothes the Night Before

In order to expedite luggage offloading, guests are asked to place their luggage outside the night before disembarkation so that the crew can have it ready pier-side before you leave the ship. Of course, that means you will be without the bulk of your belongings on that morning. It may seem obvious, but its inevitably a classic mistake that some passengers still do not set aside the next days clothes before placing their suitcases outside their stateroom. Dont forget or you will be without apparel, short of a bathrobe, crossing the gangplank.

Mind Your Luggage Tag Color

Most cruise lines assign luggage tags with specific colors on them to stagger the flow of guests departing the ship. That is your luggage will be awaiting you, stored in a section of the port facility that matches the time you are scheduled to disembark. The color group order is determined by the travel arrangements that you share with the cruise line to prioritize those on earlier flights. Times are usually estimated, however. So, be sure to listen for when your group is called over the PA system to know for sure when you are free to disembark. Otherwise, premature lobby crowding ensues.

Take Off Your Own Luggage

Alternatively, if you desire to get off sooner than later and are independent and able-bodied enough to handle your own suitcases, you can often opt to disembark first with a self-assist group. While this option is perhaps physically less convenient, as the path off the ship can be a longer one than expected to roll off your own luggage, its usually the best for ensuring the fastest disembarkation should that be required.

First Take the Elevator Up to Go Down

Whether you are taking off all of your own luggage or just your carry-on bags, elevators heading down to the gangway are frequently full with other passengers and their belongings. Especially if you have a lot of suitcases with you, a trick that works well is to call an emptier elevator up before descending back down.

Consider Cruise Lines with Simpler Disembarkation

For decades, most cruise lines have followed the system of group assignments to schedule guest departures spread out during the morning, the result of which can sometimes become complicated if delays change the priority dynamic. Disney Cruise Line instead simplifies it all by dropping a specific schedule besides a first self-help group. And you know what? It works seamlessly. Guests know when they need to be off by at the latest, they will organically depart evenly as travel dictates. It would sure be nice if other cruise lines adopted this model accordingly.

Article Courtesy Travel Pulse and Seven Sea Journeys/News

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

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The first-ever Official Hungry Girl Cruise sets sail on January 28th, 2017!

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Category : Cruise

This highly anticipated weeklong event will be packed with exclusive parties, life-changing presentations, and more. Fans will learn firsthand how to lose weight and keep it off forever, all while cruising the Eastern Caribbean with Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien herself! 
 
As the creator of the Hungry Girl brand, founder of hungry-girl.com, and author of eleven New York Times bestselling books, Lisa Lillien has devoted her entire career to helping people eat the foods they love and still fit into their pants. Nearly 3 million email subscribers and social media followers eagerly await Hungry Girl’s recipes, food finds, and tips & tricks each weekday! And eleven super-successful nationwide book tours have shown that fans are always hungry to hear Lisa’s real-world healthy-eating advice straight from the source. A Hungry Girl vacation led by Lisa herself is the next logical step.
 
The Official Hungry Girl Cruise promises to be a unique travel experience that’s equal parts motivational, informative, revitalizing, and FUN! 
 
Want to know more? Here are the top 5 reasons to book the Hungry Girl Cruise today! 
 
1. You’ll learn how to lose weight and keep it off… for GOOD.
This incredible experience can truly help you reach your health and weight goals once and for all. Through interactive presentations packed with information and motivation, you’ll learn real-world survival strategies that you can use forever. It’s more than a vacation; it’s an investment in yourself!
 
2. It’s two vacations in one: A luxurious Caribbean cruise PLUS a life-changing Hungry Girl experience.
In addition to the Hungry Girl events, you’ll enjoy all the luxuries of a state-of-the-art cruise ship (spa, restaurants, shopping, casino, live entertainment, and more) and spend time on some of the most beautiful islands in the world (Turks & Caicos, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Bahamas)!
 
3. You’ll get face-to-face expert advice from Hungry Girl Lisa herself. (Plus, you’ll get to hang out with her all week long!)
Lisa will be on board for the entire cruise, and she’ll personally lead each and every Hungry Girl event. There will also be one-on-one opportunities and Q&A sessions to address specific struggles. Plus, morning workouts by the pool, exclusive parties, games, raffles, and more…. all with Lisa and some special guests!
 
4. It’ll be easy to eat smart on this vacation… Hungry Girl recipes will be served daily!
The chef will be whipping up Hungry Girl entrées every single day on the cruise. And (of course) calorie counts will be provided! We’ll also be dishing out smart-eating advice for the entire vacation — from the best buffet options to my top picks at the specialty restaurants.
 
5. It’s perfect for a girls’ trip OR a family vacation.
Get a group of friends together for the trip of a lifetime! There will also be plenty of family-vacation fun to be had, and discounted rates are available for family members not attending the HG events. Spouses and kids can enjoy everything that the ship has to offer while you’re getting your Hungry Girl on!
 
For more information about the Official Hungry Girl Cruise, visit cruise.hungry-girl.com.

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Fathom Finds Havana Highlights in Cuba

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Category : Cruise

Cuba has been off limits to cruise travel from the U.S. for decades as ships have frequently come and gone, skirting the island nation on Caribbean itineraries but not being permitted to stop there. Now, the forbidden fruit is available to taste, and it is sweet. Fathom is one of the most convenient ways for American citizens to do so, sailing roundtrip from Miami, Florida.

Cuba is not only a singular port-of-call on Fathom, but the entire focus of its biweekly seven-day cruises, visiting three destinations: Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. And Havana is an overnight port that facilitates the most cultural immersion, day and night. Mostly, the program is already set out for guests with extensive shore excursions included in the cost of the cruise, but there is still plenty of time on your own to reserve additional evening experiences or get in other people-to-people activities throughout the day.

Remember, outright tourism is still not permitted. As such, Tara Russell, president of Fathom, said, Right now our focus in Cuba is around (those) 12 authorized forms of travel approved by U.S., OK with Cuba. And its really about beginning a series of learnings with the Cuban people. In Havana, that translates to a walking tour on one day and a bus tour on the next with opportunities to engage with locals.

The briefings onboard, presented by the expert Impact Guides, give a very good overview of what to expect in ports, but a more detailed excursion timeline would additionally better inform guests. Traditional shore excursions are more specifically described to include exact expectations and schedules.

Compared to other ports in the Caribbean, Havana is definitely grander in scale. Cuba is the largest island in the region, after all. The capital citys character gives off a vibe that is almost a cross between New Orleans and San Juan, Puerto Rico, particularly in regards to its eclectic architectural patina and live music spilling into the streets. Locals are very friendly, and Americans may feel somewhat at home when seeing classic domestic cars rolling down the streets.

The city really is a fascinating time capsule unearthed at the intersection of African, American and Caribbean cultures, and its a pleasure to see the remains of political posturing crumble to finally allow this very special travel exchange one I never expected to be able to partake in, at least not this soon in my life.

The walking tour through Old Havana provides a wonderful primer to the city and includes a local lunch that brings the sights, sounds and tastes together for an unforgettable experience. The bus tour, like those anywhere in the world, isolates you a bit more from the surroundings, although the air-conditioned respite from the heat and humidity is welcome. Other cultural highlights may encompass a cemetery tour, monumental plaza stop, Santeria dance demonstration, second lunch at Ernest Hemingway-favorite Floridita and a visit to Hotel Nacional de Cuba as well as the Cuban art museum.

Of course, after exchanging money, there are also opportunities to purchase local souvenirs and even world-famous Cuban cigars and local Havana Club rum. Overall purchases are restricted to $400 per person, only $100 of which can total from tobacco and liquor.

However, the real highlight is often the time spent away from the group excursions. I highly recommend renting a classic American car taxi and going on a short ride or extended tour. My friend and I enjoyed an excellent experience in a 1952 convertible Buick Super in baby blue, driven by Carlos Castellanos and led by guide Yordi (available at ce.carcastellanos@nauta.cu and yordycha@nauta.ca) until my friend and I took to the front seat for a final photo-op (pictured in the header above).

Not only were we able to additionally explore El Morro Fort across the bay, but the adventure included getting caught in the rain and keeping dry under a makeshift tarp. Between my own broken Spanish, my friends superior language understanding and our shared laughs, a true local connection was made, leading our new friends to say we were Cubans now too.

Article Courtesy Travel Pulse and Seven Sea Journeys/News

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

Please visit CruiseCrazies.com for more cruise news & articles.

Featured photo credit: Jason Leppert

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Confessions of a Cruise Ship Musician

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Category : Cruise

Musician and singer Dean DiMarzo had just joined a local dance band and had only been playing clubs with them for a couple of months when his bandleader got a call for a gig aboard the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship. After giving it some consideration, DiMarzo decided to take what many would consider a glamorous and luxurious opportunity.

For eight months, DiMarzo, who was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, New York area, lived aboard the ship and sailed from Bayonne, New Jersey to Bermuda, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Nassau, and Quebec City.

It was pretty cool, said DiMarzo. Glamorous isn’t quite the word I’d use, though. Yes, we got to travel, and play music for a living, and that was fantastic. It was still a job, though. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff the passengers don’t see. Weeks and weeks of safety training, weekly drills, and lots and lots of strict regulations. Of course I’m glad the cruise lines are taking the safety of both the crew and passengers seriously, it just wasn’t all glamorous fun and games.

As musicians, DiMarzo explained that he had a little more freedom than some of the other crew members on board. We only worked at night for about four hours, meaning we were almost always free to go out into whatever island we’d landed at that day, he says. San Juan, Puerto Rico was my favorite port by far, but St. Martin was great, too.

His room and meals were all covered, so he had no expenses. I made a lot of great friends onboard, from all over the world, he says. I have friends in Italy and Hong Kong now.

Most days, DiMarzo didnt have to be on stage until around 9 p.m., so he slept in. If we were in port, I’d usually head into town with some friends from the ship, head to the nearest Starbucks and catch up on my emails, and do some sight-seeing if it was a particularly interesting destination, he says.

Four hours of singing Earth, Wind, and Fire tunes kind of takes it out of you. Dean Dimarzo

During the day, while the ship was at sea, he would spend the day watching movies in his cabin, writing music or hitting the gym before working in Dizzys Lounge for four hours. After we wrapped up, usually around 1-1:30 a.m., I’d either head down to the crew bar to hang out for a bit, or (more often than not) just head straight to bed. Four hours of singing Earth, Wind, and Fire tunes kind of takes it out of you.

On his rare nights off, he would watch other bands play, or catch a show in the theatre. We had a few fantastic mini-Broadway revues put on weekly by our amazing musical cast, he says.

While it might sound like a dream job, there were some down sides. The worst part was the lack of Internet and phone onboard, he says. It turned me into a Wi-Fi addict. We could be in the most beautiful island in the Caribbean, and as soon as we stepped off the ship I’d book it to the nearest Starbucks so I could check my email, because I hadn’t been able to talk to my fiancé in three days.

Even though it was only four hours of work a night, being a musician can be tough. It gets tough to put on the same performance with the same level of energy night after night, every single night for weeks on end, says DiMarzo. We got a night off now and then, but it was still exhausting.

DiMarzo says that it was an amazing experience that hes very glad he did once, but doesnt plan on doing again. I’m getting married next month, and I don’t think my future wife would be too excited about me disappearing off to the Caribbean for another eight months, he says. Also, I’ve been focusing more on studio work and teaching lately, and that’s been really rewarding, so I think I’m going to keep heading down that road.

Article Courtesy of Travel Pulse/Lisa Ianucci and Seven Sea Journeys/News: http://sevenseajourneys.agentstudio.com/news.html

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

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Featured photo credit: Travel Pulse

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The Magic of Broadway on the New Seven Seas Explorer

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Category : Cruise

It’s the magic of Broadway in the world-class luxury of a brand new cruise ship.
 
TravelPulse was allowed behind the scenes at the Norwegian Creative Studios to preview the entertainment planned for the launch of Seven Seas Explorer, the newest and most opulent cruise ship of the Regent fleet, due to set sail in July.
 
Previously known far more for its top-notch service and luxurious accommodations, Regent Seven Seas has tapped into the industry-leading and well-renowned team at Norwegian to develop four new live-staged musical and theatrical productions.
 
The team at Norwegian Creative is entirely made up of entertainment industry veterans who had previously made their living touring with some of the biggest Broadway shows on the planet. The casts are culled from all over the planet, comprising some of the most well-rounded talents imaginable. The costumes, set pieces, music and choreography would all seem just as much at home on London’s West End as in the Explorer’s new Constellation Theater.
 
Let me tell you: It will be fantastic.
 
The four show are as follows, from the company’s press release:
 
• “Peggy Lee” — An homage to the American jazz and popular music crooner, “Peggy Lee” explores her legendary career through memorable hits such as “Fever,” “The Freedom Train” and “You Gotta Have Heart.” This original show is flawlessly directed by William Whitener, who has performed, choreographed and directed for stages worldwide, including Broadway.
 
• “Burn the Floor” — This enthralling musical takes the audience back to Feb. 9, 1964 when Beatlemania and the British Invasion hit North America during the Sunday night Ed Sullivan Show. The cast dances and sings through this musical era with dances including The Jive, Swing, Fosse, Contemporary, The Madison and The Twist.
 
• “Paradis” — Featuring the finest in Parisian-style entertainment, Paradis is a bawdy burlesque blend of percolating dance, steamy song stylings and audacious costumes set to a heart-throbbing beat. It is directed by veteran Broadway and Off-Broadway choreographer Patricia Wilcox.
 
• “A Day in Hollywood” — This Tony Award-winning show spurs singing and dancing in the aisles, and leaves guests yearning to go to the movies. The show features some of the greatest music ever written for the movies, such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Thanks for the Memory” and “Hooray for Hollywood.” 
 
The 12-person cast for these shows is one of the most talented group of people this author has even seen perform. From the first bawdy notes of “Paradis”’ “Flapper’s Delight,” to the high-flying kicks of the can-can and the sensory explosion of the tap routine from “A Day in Hollywood,” it was clear that the Explorer will have no trouble filling out the seats in its theater in no time at all.
 
Set to carry only 750 guests, the new ship boasts one of the highest space ratios in the cruise industry and will feature both extravagantly designed lounges and showplaces, and lavish gourmet restaurants. The luxury liner’s maiden voyage is scheduled for July 20, 2016, and will be christened by H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco before spending its inaugural season in the Mediterranean and then heading to Miami for a series of Caribbean voyages.
 
Article Courtesy of Travel Pulse/Michael Schottey and Seven Sea Journeys/News 
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.
Please visit CruiseCrazies.com for more cruise news & articles.
 

 
Featured photo credit: Michael Schottey
 

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Princess Introduces New Club Class Mini-Suites

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Category : Cruise

Princess Cruises has unveiled a new stateroom category today with its Club Class Mini-Suite option that will roll out across the fleet beginning in December 2016 as part of the lines Come Back New Promise enhancement program.

The new category takes existing mini-suites spacious cabins with a separate bedroom and living area and tacks on bonus amenity, service and dining perks. Highlights include access to a reserved Club Class Dining area in the restaurant with expedited seating and an expanded menu and priority embarkation and disembarkation, as well as the new Princess Luxury Bed.

Club Class Mini-Suites provide Princess guests yet another elevated product enhancement to enjoy during their cruise vacation, said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. The VIP perks, including the new Club Class Dining, offers a premium and memorable onboard experience so our guests can completely relax, unwind and immerse themselves in worldwide destinations and ultimately come back new.

Already included with mini-suites are up to 323 square feet of space with a balcony, a separate seating area with a sofa bed and coffee table, a bathroom with a tub and shower combo and a welcome glass of champagne.

Club Class Mini-Suite added perks are outlined as follows:

Club Class Dining

Dedicated section of the Main Dining Room complete with expedited seating

Dedicated wait staff and distinct table decor

Exclusive menu items with a daily chefs special plus table-side preparations

Available every day for dinner and for sea day breakfasts and lunches

Upgraded Amenities & Services

The Princess Luxury Bed developed by board certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and HGTV designer Candice Olson

Priority check-in and embarkation at the start of the voyage and priority disembarkation at the end

One-time free wine preparation on embarkation day (half bottle of red and white)

Evening canapes (upon request)

Terry shawl bathrobes

On the bulk of Princess ships, save for the newest Royal-class ships, the mini-suite is the first category to accommodate a third guest in the room, and now these extra features add more value to the configuration. The benefits will also extend to guests booked in full suite categories above and beyond those perks already included therein.

The new Club Class Mini-Suite is set to debut on the Ruby Princess on December 10, 2016 and the Emerald Princess on December 12, 2016, and the rest of the fleet will follow through October 2, 2017 with the Golden Princess scheduled to receive it last.

Article Courtesy of Jason Leppert/Travel Pulse and Seven Sea Journeys/News

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

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Featured photo credit: Princess Cruises

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Viking Ocean Cruises Accentuates the Destination

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Category : Cruise

At first glance it would appear that the modern cruise industry is only concerned with building ever more elaborate mega ships that serve as destinations themselves, but another less obvious trend is moving towards smaller ocean vessels and riverboats. And Viking Cruises is a leader in both with its Viking Ocean Cruises and Viking River Cruises brands.

In fact, as I write this, I’m aboard the ocean line’s newest, Viking Sea, sitting in its beautiful double-decker observation lounge, the appropriately titled Explorers Lounge, where there is a welcome shift in focus back to the destination itself. Floor-to-ceiling windows, and even glass stairs, offer expansive wraparound views of Cadiz, Spain today and an increasingly international collection of port cities tomorrow and farther into the future.

While Viking Ocean Cruises frequents the Baltic and Mediterranean with its two ships for now, the Viking Star is set to head across to the United States and the Caribbean in the fall. Plus, the fleet will expand to at least six ships through 2020 and surely deploy to worldwide regions beyond as it grows. In the meantime, the template Viking presents is one that places the priority on the destination, and everything else follows.

Remarkably, the ocean line comes very close to a luxury product at a fraction of the cost, and, like on the river brand, its sea fares even include one shore excursion in every port, usually an overview tour for first-time visitors. Other excursion options provide a deeper dive at reasonable costs. For instance, I enjoyed a Gaudi architecture tour in Barcelona, Spain for only $69, and thats the kind of thing that excites me as a millennial even over waterslides and rock climbing walls.

I had the chance to previously see the iconic Sagrada Familia church under construction from the outside, but I was particularly excited to check out its interior on my visit. Thanks to Viking, I was able to do just that, and I was blown away by the opportunity. While its doubtful the cathedral will be completed by its 2026 target date, its something else to see it now knowing I’ll most likely return once it does finally finish, hopefully via another Viking voyage.

Elsewhere onboard the Viking Star and Viking Sea, the destination continues to take center stage. Knowledge on related subjects literally permeates every nook and cranny. Rather than having a dedicated library room, the entire ship acts as one since books are found everywhere on shelves and cubbies and even around the pool. Expert lectures also discuss the ports that are visited, and the tapestry-sized LED screen at the top of the atrium stairs displays dramatic high-definition images of locations on quarter-hour rotation.

Viking cruise ships dont have bells and whistles (well, it does have a horn at least), but its brands accurately realize they dont require them. The ports are plenty, and, while other attractions certainly have their place, they sometimes distract from the destination. Viking instead chooses to accentuate it.

Article Courtesy of Jason Leppert/Travel Pulse and Seven Sea Journeys/News (4/28/16)

Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.

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Featured photo credit: Jason Leppert

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Interesting Facts about Cruise Ships

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Category : Cruise

Cruise ships are self-contained towns unto themselves that just happen to float on the ocean, sea, or whatever body of water the captain chooses to traverse. They’re big, full of entertainment options, and not a bad way to travel (and even live, as the case may be).
 
With that in mind, let us take a look at some intriguing things about cruise ships you might not have known beforehand.
 
The Biggest and Best
 
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You knew, no doubt, that these babies were very large. Some of them are big enough to dwarf the Titanic, in fact, a historical, ill-fated vessel so large that its modern day meaning has become synonymous with colossal.
 
But did you know that the largest cruise ships in the world are 90 meters longer than the Titanic, measuring about the length of four football fields and reaching a full 16 stories high?  The Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, the first and second largest cruise liners respectively, are both the property of Royal Caribbean International. These 6,000 passenger-bearing vessels unsurprisingly outweigh the Titanic by about four times as much mass. Finally, the Allure of the Seas has a total of 22 restaurants, virtually guaranteeing that you will not get tired of eating the same food.
 
Tons of Entertainment Options
 
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There are tons of entertainment options onboard for the traveller of any taste. This includes:
 
·        theatrical productions that Broadway would be envious of
·        Olympic-sized swimming pools
·        ice skating
·        bars
·        surfing
·        table games
·        casino games
 
It is nearly impossible for you to get bored while onboard. If you cannot find something that seems appealing to you, that is entirely on your shoulders, and not due to a lack of activities available to you.
One enduring games, both on the casino floor or on the cruise ship, is Bingo. One reason casino games have found life onboard is due to the number of retirees that are passengers on cruises who are looking for a fun social activity to meet others. If you are looking for a more solitary experience, there are some great reviews for online games like free no deposit bingo. With all these entertainment options, it is no wonder so many people choose to cruise. Which brings us to our next point…
 
Cruises as a Lifestyle Choice
 
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This may sound crazy, but the cost of retirement nowadays in the Western world is prohibitively expensive, something to the tune of north of $100,000 for assisted care living. Taking into account rocketing health costs, the pittance they call a pension fund nowadays, and an overall low cash flow from what a newly retired person is accustomed to, choosing to live on a cruise liner is not as ridiculous as it might seem. Not only are there, as mentioned, tons and tons of entertainment options to keep you from being bored in old age, but retirees get to cross off destinations from their bucket list.
 
Cruise liners go everywhere from the Polynesian islands, to the Indian Ocean, to the Mediterranean and Dalmatian coasts, to the Caribbean Isles; one can literally travel the globe, something that may not have been possible raising a family while holding down a job. Health care is included in the cost as well, which is roughly the same as living in a retirement home.
 
Living and Dying at Sea
 
In the worst case scenarios, when health care just is not enough for someone facing critical health concerns, there are, believe it or not, morgues on board. In case you thought the above facts about retirees on board were dubious, here is a substantiating fact: the average age of a cruise ship passenger is middle-aged. In addition, the longer the voyage of the vessel, the older the guests tend to be, where anything lasting longer than a week will have a significant number of senior citizens.
 
Of course, any health complication is possible, and unfortunately, some people pass away. That is why there are morgues onboard with capacity for anywhere from one to three bodies. Ensuring that the bodies are sent back to the country of origin or point of embarkation, or taken off at the next port is an important decision for the family and the cruise line.

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Holland America Takes Delivery of New Ship MS Koningsdam

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Category : Cruise

Holland America Line celebrated the delivery of ms Koningsdam with an official Handover Ceremony, luncheon and shipyard workers party aboard the ship Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy.
 
In attendance at the ceremony was Italy’s Minister of Infrastructures and Transport Graziano Delrio, who expressed his appreciation for the long-standing relationship between Carnival Corporation, including Holland America Line, and Fincantieri. Other speakers included Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer, Fincantieri, and Arnold Donald, chief executive officer, Carnival Corporation. A video was shown of the Italian flag being changed to the Dutch flag, as flown by all Holland America Line ships. Fincantieri also presented ms Koningsdam’s Captain Emiel de Vries with a bottle containing the first water that touched msKoningdam’s hull.
 
“The Official Handover Ceremony was a celebration of the years of planning and hard work that went into building our gorgeous new ship and a chance to honor all those who made this day possible,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Thank you to Fincantieri for being an exceptional partner. We look forward to beginning work soon on our second Pinnacle-class ship scheduled for delivery in late 2018.”
 
Invited guests at the Handover Ceremony also witnessed a contract signing between Fincantieri S.p.A. and Carnival Corporation to build five new cruise ships as part of a memorandum of agreement announced in 2015. The five new ships include two that will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, two ships for Princess Cruises and one designated for P&O Cruises Australia, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020.
 
Following the official ceremony, the shipyard employees who worked over the past two years to build Koningsdam were invited on board with their families to celebrate their accomplishment. Guests were treated to dinner in the Lido Market, and a performance in World Stage, showing off the venue’s 270-degree LED projection. A tour of the ship allowed the shipyard employees to share the final result of their hard work with their families.
 
The ship will sail from the yard Sunday, April 3, to make its way to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, for its Premiere Voyage departing April 8.
 
Following a series of premiere Mediterranean voyages, Koningsdam’s official naming ceremony will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, May 20.
 
 
Source: PRNewswire, April 2, 2016
 
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com – Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more.
 
Please visit CruiseCrazies.com for more cruise news & articles.
 

 
Featured photo credit: Holland America

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NCL's Pride of America Gets a Makeover

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Category : Cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the Pride of America just wrapped a three and a half week drydock that added newly designed public spaces, new venues and refreshed décor in all staterooms. The renovations are part of The Norwegian Edge program, a $400 million fleetwide investment.

The new public spaces, as well as several of the ships restaurants as well as bars and lounges, now sport a modern look with new contemporary décor and furniture as well as new lighting and flooring. Every stateroom aboard Pride of America was touched by this renovation, receiving new bedding, new furniture, new flat screen televisions and updated flooring.

The new venues the ship added include the Soho Art Gallery, which offers original works of art available for purchase; the new Perspectives Photo Studio, an area for couples, families and friends to have professional photo memories taken of their vacation; and Dolce Gelato, Norwegians signature gelateria. Those looking to tie the knot while in any of the ships ports of call can do so in the ships wedding chapel, now in a new location on deck six with new flooring, furniture and wall fixtures.

The ships pool deck underwent a complete refurbishment with a refinished pool, new loungers and Jacuzzis.

The ship’s Conservatory was also completely transformed, with new furniture, flooring and modern décor; and the library and card rooms, which were outfitted with new flooring, furniture and six computer stations for Internet access, for those who prefer to leave their personal devices at home. The Mandara Spa has been expanded with more treatment rooms. The spa will feature New Mexican décor including soft, neutral colors and natural elements like stone and wood to provide a tranquil atmosphere.

Dining enhancements for Pride of America include extensive renovations to all of the existing complimentary dining venues, most notably the ships Skyline Main Dining Room, which received a refreshed look with new décor including a new entrance, new carpet design, new furniture upholstery, new window drapes and new columns throughout the restaurant. La Cucina, Norwegians signature Italian restaurant, aboard Pride of America has also been updated. The ships specialty restaurants East Meets West, Cagneys Steakhouse and Jeffersons Bistro also received enhancements with new flooring, re-upholstered furniture, new artwork, lighting fixtures, new window treatments and more.

Beyond hardware upgrades, guests sailing aboard Pride of America can now enjoy new menus in all dining outlets with additional choices and à la carte priced items in complimentary dining rooms and specialty restaurants. Building on the success of the enhanced menus aboard Norwegians newest ship Norwegian Escape, Pride of Americas new menus have been developed by Norwegians culinary team with a focus on balancing popular traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot with current dining trends.

Pride of America is the only ship that sails year-round from Honolulu on seven-day intra-Hawaii cruises. The itinerary visits Hawaiis main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; stops in Hilo, Hawaii and Kona, Hawaii; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Nãpali Coast.

Source: Travel Agent Central/Newswire (March 29, 2016)

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Featured photo credit: Norwegian Cruise Lines

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