Wednesday, November 27, 2019

MSC Cruises Announces an Accessible Tours Program

MSC Cruises announced that they will roll out an accessible shore excursions program with tours available in 20 destinations across the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

These MSC  tours and excursions have been created with careful consideration for safety and accessibility, allowing all guests to explore each destination in total comfort, guaranteeing that:
• Tour routes are completely step-free
• Accessible to wheelchairs wherever possible
• Only short distances are covered
• Timings are run at a slower pace
• Accessible restrooms with wide doors are planned along the route

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What’s Cookin’ in Carnival’s Kitchen?

Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans to debut a new hands-on culinary experience called Carnival Kitchen on the new Carnival Panorama when she launches in December. I have to be honest, I was a bit surprised! Cooking classes are an activity I equate with other cruise lines …like Holland America… not Carnival. But after thinking about it a bit longer I'm now thinking, wow I love that idea!  Why not?

The Carnival Kitchen program will offer more than 15 classes, mostly during sea days. Each class can hold up to 18 guests, and the price will range between $30 and $59. Sample Carnival Kitchen offerings will include:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Reasons to Arrive to Your Cruise a Day Early

Maybe I’m just a Nervous Nellie, but the thought of flying to my cruise embarkation port on the day of the cruise causes me to break into a cold sweat! I think all the agents here at Direct Line Cruises will always advise their clients to do the same thing. Here’s why…

Flight Delays
Possible flight delays are probably the number one reason to always try to arrive to your cruise port city early, preferable the day before.  I know it’s not my imagination in thinking that these days that flight delays are more prevalent than ever before. My husband flies domestically every week and I have become accustomed to text alerts from the airlines notifying me that his flight has been delayed…or worse, canceled. Best solution is to book your flight for a day earlier than your cruise. Then you are essentially building a buffer against the chaos flight postponements or cancellations can cause.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Family Reunions at Sea

You can’t flip your calendar over to November without thinking about the family gatherings ahead. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends! There’s no better time to suggest a family reunion and no better place to hold a family reunion than on a cruise ship. There are so many reasons why multigenerational cruising has never been more popular!

Economically speaking, cruising is a good fit for all budgets because there are so many variables that allow you to tailor the pricing to your group, allowing more people to attend. Since your choice of cruise line, departure port and cruise length will all affect pricing you can adjust these variables to find the perfect itinerary that everyone can afford. Plus, the inclusive nature of a cruise helps keep everyone on budget. There are no worries about who is going to pay for this dinner or that activity, given that almost all meals, entertainment and activities are included in the basic fare.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The “NEW” Oasis of the Seas

It doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago that the entire cruise industry was abuzz with excitement over Royal Caribbean’s evolutionary Oasis of the Seas! Back in 2008 the debut of Oasis of the Seas set a new capacity record of carrying over 6,000 passengers, as well as introducing a unique
neighborhood concept; seven main themed areas providing guests with a variety of experiences.

However, it hard to remain revolutionary for long, so this fall the Oasis began her $165 million Royal Amplification dry-dock. Over a period of two months the ship got a BIG refurbishment including many new attractions coming from other Royal Caribbean ships.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Are you Real ID compliant?

Heads up... beginning October 1, 2020, (that’s one short year from now), you will need a Real ID
compliant identification card to board domestic flights.

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 to increase security measures concerning state-issued personal identification cards, mainly driver’s licenses’ that are often used to board domestic
flights. Compliant documentation includes passports (which are still required for international flights), passport cards and trusted traveler identification like Global Entry. But the majority of Americans use their driver’s licenses to pass through security for their domestic air travel.

The U.S. Travel Association is urging Americans to check their Real ID status at their state’s motor vehicle department. People should upgrade their license sooner than later. The last thing you want is to put it off and forget about it, only to find that you’re denied boarding for that Florida bound flight that is taking you to your cruise embarkation city!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Goodbye Grandeur of the Seas

Royal Caribbean announced today it will be transferring Grandeur of the Seas out of its fleet in the spring of 2021.  She will join sister brand Pullmantur Cruises.  Other ships that have been moved to Pullmantur in the past are Monarch of the Seas, Sovereign of the Seas and Celebrity's Horizon.

For the many passengers who return multiple times to Baltimore-based Grandeur of the Seas, she will be very much missed. Built in 1996, Grandeur of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean's Vision class of ships. Past guests cite the vessel's manageable size and personable crew as the reason for their loyalty.

Enchantment of the Seas, will return to Baltimore to replace Grandeur in spring of 2021.