Friday, October 30, 2009

It's A Girl!

This week there was lots of excitement in the small city of Turku, located on the southwest coast of Finland. It was on Wednesday, October 28th that STX Europe officially delivered Royal Caribbean their newest baby…all 225,000 tons of her! Welcome Oasis of the Seas! Today, this amazing floating city, 2,165 crewmembers, and some additional 300 trainers and testers will begin the transatlantic crossing to U.S. shores. At the helm will be Captain William S. Wright, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean International. You may remember him as the Captain of Freedom of the Seas when that ship made her first appearance in 2006, then the world's largest cruise ship. Once again Captain Wright will have the distinguished honor of debuting the “new” largest cruise ship in the world, as he guides the Oasis of the Seas to her new year-round homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Once docked at the new cruise terminal in Port Everglades there will be ample time for the planting of lawns and gardens, show rehearsals, and other last minute touches prior to her first cruise with guests onboard. Staff from Direct Line Cruises will be there when ABC’s “Good Morning America” unveils her beauty and innovation to the world on live T.V. the morning of November 20th. We’ll be posting photos on our Facebook page, so be sure to check it out!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Epic’s Ice Bar…So Cool it’s Hot!

The first Ice Hotel was built in the village of Jukkasjarvi Sweden in 1989. Existing each year between December and April, the entire structure is made out of snow and ice blocks. Within the hotel the Absolut Ice Bar is the most popular room in the place, with its vaulted ceiling, plenty of ice block seating (covered in reindeer skins) and see-though bar. The vodka cocktails are even served in chunky ice glasses!

It is this unique experience that is the inspiration behind the Ice Bar aboard the NCL Epic. In this frosty freezy wonderland the walls, tables, bar, stools, glasses and life size sculptures glisten and gleam. The Ice Bar will be kept at a frigid 17 degrees; not too pleasant for most warm blooded species! Although the vodka will certainly help raise body temperatures, faux fur coats are available at the door to assist. The Ice Bar is one of 14 in the world, but it is the first true ice bar at sea.
The Ice Bar is not the only unique after dark hot spot aboard the Epic. There’s Spice H2O, an adults-only, sultry, steamy, Ibiza-inspired beach club. Or Bliss Ultra Lounge, the electrifying high-energy lounge where music videos playing on multiple plasma screens create an electrifying experience. Leave it to NCL to provide the hippest, liveliest nightlife at sea!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oasis of the Seas Debuts on Good Morning America

If you are one of the many curious cruisers that can hardly wait for a sneak peek of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, the time is drawing near! On Friday, November 20 from 7am to 9am “Good Morning America” will be broadcasting live from this spectacular ship! If you’re like me you have tried to imagine Central Park. Were the designers really able to create an area of lush foliage, winding paths, and secret gardens that could make you feel you are strolling through Eden? When the camera pans the Boardwalk will you feel the excitement of Ocean City? Maybe they’ll tour a Loft Suite and we can steal a look at these accommodations that are worthy of a spread in Architectural Digest! I wonder who will be the first person race down the zip line that traverses this mega ship! Maybe they'll show the dive team in that amazing Aqua Theater!Answers to these and all your questions in less then a month! So set your TIVO’s and DVR’s so you can watch this special preview over and over again….or at least until you can experience it for yourself!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


BINGO has long been a part of my life. When I was about 9 or 10 my mom would allow me to accompany her on Monday nights to the church hall to play. I was only allowed to go during the summer months because the games didn’t finish up until close to 11pm and that would have been too late to stay out on a school night. I shared her tin can of pennies which we used as markers, but I had my own fluorescent pink dauber (that’s BINGO talk for ink markers) for the “specials”. Like everyone else my mom and I would line up our good luck charms (rabbit’s feet, trolls, etc) and hope for the best! As a “tween” my girlfriends and I would ditch our mom’s once we got to the hall, and position ourselves at our own table in back. Babysitting money paid for donuts, chips, soda, and of course our BINGO cards. We would spend the evening talking about cute boys, snobby girls, and the music of the Jackson 5 and Bobby Sherman. Sometimes we’d even pay attention to the game. Fast forward to my son’s years in elementary school. BINGO was the school’s most profitable fund raiser and once again I found myself at the church hall; only this time I was selling the BINGO cards, donuts and calling the numbers. When my son moved on to high school my BINGO nights came to an abrupt halt….until that one rainy day aboard a cruise ship. With nothing else going on I made my way to the show lounge. I remember being a bit wary. I knew playing with penny markers was probably not the way it was done, but when I was handed the sheets of games with the fold back tabs I was delighted by the novelty of it! The crowd was mixed: old and young; men, women and children; the experienced BINGO player and the newbie. The staff knew all the BINGO jokes and then some! I learned the BINGO Boogie, a requirement of claiming a prize, but unfortunately had no need to show off my moves. No matter, I was hooked! Now when we cruise BINGO is one of the activities we never miss. Since it’s expensive we play selectively; just “Win a Cruise” BINGO and “Jackpot” BINGO. My son won Jackpot BINGO on our Mediterranean cruise, and even though he had to split it with another player, his share of the prize money was more than a lifetime of my own winnings! Our last cruise brought BINGO to a new level with the use of hand held electronic games. Selling for over $60 for a session, these devices play more than 20 games at a time. They alert players by displaying how many numbers are needed for a BINGO, the actual numbers you’re waiting for, and they jingle and flash when you’re waiting for one more number (you’re cue to stand and get ready to boogie)! Once this gadget is turned on you can just sit back and sip your “drink of the day”. So where’s the fun in that? Well, at least you’re still required to BINGO boogie! Today there just never seems to be enough time to make my way to my hometown BINGO hall, although the games go on without me every Monday night. I’m content to know that I will play again on my next cruise, which is always just around the corner.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

World’s Largest Cruise Night (or should we say "week")

It will be a night like no other in the cruise industry. In one 24-hour period on October 14, 2009, thousands of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member travel agencies will participate in the World's Largest Cruise Night. Here at Direct Line Cruises, we wanted to do MORE. We wanted to give you MORE time to decide on the perfect cruise, MORE ships to choose from, MORE sail dates to pick from, and MORE onboard credit to enjoy. From 10/13 – 10/16 Direct Line Cruises will offer onboard credit on ALL of our cruise line sailings! Plus, free travel insurance on cruises 5- nights or longer! We’re not calling it the World’s Largest Cruise Night (week) for nothing!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Royal Caribbean 2-Day WOW Sale

Are you ready to put some “WOW” into your life? It’s easy enough to do. Just book your next Royal Caribbean cruise on Tuesday, October 6th or Wednesday, October 7th on any sailing from December 1, 2009 forward and receive up to $200 onboard credit and 50% reduced deposit! What a great way to lock into an amazing cruise for next year without tying up a lot of cash. On top of that you get onboard credit to spend in the spa, the stores, or even a shore excursion. With Royal Caribbean’s Price Protection, you can book your cruise now and not have to worry about overpaying! But it gets even better! This sale includes Oasis of the Seas, a ship synonymous with WOW, for cruises that leave after April 1st 2010. You only have two days to take advantage of this sale, so don't wait. Let Royal Caribbean WOW you!