Monday, February 24, 2020

The Newly Renovated Norwegian Spirit

The Norwegian Spirit has undergone a $100 million renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, designed to update and elevate the standard of the fleet.

I love the variety of restaurants on a Norwegian ship but the Spirit was definitely lacking in this area.  It’s good to hear they added additional complimentary dining venues such as another main dining room, Taste; the 24-hour eatery, The Local Bar and Grill; the all-day dining outlet, Garden CafĂ©; the Great Outdoors Bar; and Waves Pool Bar. I was particularly excited to see the addition of the specialty restaurant Onda by Scarpetta (Onda, which is Italian for “wave,” will combine a classic approach to old-world fare, including using in-house-made pasta, with its own signature seafood dishes, to offer a new take on Italian cuisine).

Monday, February 10, 2020

Why Reef-Safe Sunscreen Is Important

Reef-safe sunscreen…I keep hearing about these products but I admit, until I started to get ready for my upcoming Caribbean vacation, I never really gave it my full attention. So I started Googling the term and what I discovered was a bit alarming!

I read that up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen (the equivalent of 25 million bottles) are estimated to wash off human bodies and into coral reefs around the globe each year.  And yes, that’s a big problem!  It seems that some of the ingredients in sunscreen may damage the world’s coral reef systems and other more!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Azamara... When Luxury Does Not Mean Stuffy

I had begun to plan a cruise with a friend of mine and we were discussing the cruise lines that offered a particular itinerary we were interested in. I recommended Azamara, a favorite of mine.  Her response made me chuckle when she said her husband wouldn’t be comfortable on a luxury cruise line. It was funny because the reality of it was that her and her husband couldn’t be a better match for an Azamara cruise!  It’s all about how you define luxury.

Some people equate luxury with glitz, caviar champagne and a butler!  But each luxury cruise line will have a distinctive personality, and while this may define some cruise lines, it certainly does not represent all them all! Most cruise lines, including Azamara, will share other characteristics that define them as luxury cruises without all the over-the-top amenities. Luxury can mean a smaller ship with a greater staff to passenger ratio and therefore a more personalized onboard experience. Taking the onboard experience a bit further, the entertainment may be more sophisticated with more guest lecturers, learning experiences and seminars. Luxury lines give a more inclusive experience generally including gratuities, beverage packages and sometimes shore excursions.  The cruise itineraries tend to offer longer stays in ports that the larger ships don’t even visit. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

2 Scoops of Oceania's "Regatta Royale" Please

You scream, I scream…we all scream for ice cream!  Especially when it’s the handmade, unique flavors of Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream, and served onboard your Oceania cruise!

Oceania is partnering with California-based, small-batch brand Ice Cream Humphry Slocombe,a leader in cutting-edge flavors and uncompromising quality. And what flavors!!!! There’s "Secret Breakfast" (bourbon ice cream and cornflake cookies); "Toast & Jam" (brown-butter ice cream, jam swirl and pieces of brioche); and "Harvey Milk & Honey Graham" (raw Pacific Northwest blackberry honey and house-made graham crackers). In addition, the offerings will include a custom flavor collaboration inspired by the sea… “Regatta Royale” (bittersweet dark fruity chocolate with orange zest and smoked sea salt).

All of the Humphry Slocombe's ice cream flavors available at sea will be made fresh daily. The new ice cream debuts in February aboard Oceania's Marina and Riviera, and will roll out fleetwide by May.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Celebrity Cruises Let’s You Extend Your Stay

Would you pay to extend your stay aboard a Celebrity ship for half a day? Well, it’s now an option on cruises from Port Everglades as well as select European sailings.
Guests still have to disembark (as late as 9 AM), go through customs, and move their luggage to a holding area.   A Celebrity representative will then escort them back on board to enjoy some extra hours in the public areas.  The guests will no longer have access to a cabin but they can lounge at the pool with a Bloody Mary or mimosa, as the classic beverage package is included in the extension price!

This option is a wonderful alternative to hanging out at the airport all day when you have a late flight. The price of the Celebrity “Extend Your Stay” package is $79 per adult (but remember, that price includes the classic beverage package) and $39 per child. So what do you say, would you pay to extend your stay?

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Cruise Ships Debuting in 2020

Looking to book on the newest ship cruising the deep blue sea? Here are your choices for 2020 and some of what makes them special.

Carnival CruiseLine: Mardi Gras    Coming in November (5,280-passengers)

·         First-at-sea roller coaster that zooms around 800 feet of track at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour on the ship's top deck -- including a hairpin turn that whips around the vessel's funnel

·         Suites-only enclave (dubbed "Excel")

Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Apex   Coming in April (2,910-passenger)

·         First-for-the-line solo cabins

·         Bi-level villas with their own outdoor plunge pools

Crystal Cruises: Crystal Endeavor     Coming in August (200-passengers)

·         A one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio

·         A fleet of zodiacs, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards

Monday, December 23, 2019

Princess Cruises Wants to Break Record for Largest Vow-Renewal Ceremony

I post this because I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in love at first sight. I am known to cry at movies, at songs, and yes, even at commercials. I believe in “happily ever after.” The Love Boat was my favorite television show during my “coming of age” years. And that is why I’m so excited about

Some time ago Princess Cruises announced that it will host the largest renewal of vows ceremony at sea, in hopes to set a world record onboard a Valentine’s Day cruise. Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed Captain Stubing, will officiate and Jill Whelan, his television daughter Vicki, will serve as matron of honor,  hosting the ceremony onboard Regal Princess, setting sail February 9-16, 2020.