Thursday, March 19, 2009

Norwegian Cruise Line Epic New Reveals

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) just made the next few big reveals regarding the highly anticipated Epic. First, the NCL Epic will feature the largest ship-within-a-ship suite complex at sea. The Norwegian Epic will comprise of 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship. Cruise passengers lucky enough to stay in one of these suites will have exclusive use of the Courtyard Villa area featuring a pool, two whirlpools, gym, saunas, sundeck, indoor/outdoor dining, bar / nightclub and concierge lounge.
NCL also unveiled a new category of inside staterooms called "The Studios". The Studios are truly a unique twist. These ultra-modern staterooms maximize space and feature a large, round window that peeks into the corridor. This hip and modern stateroom also features adjustable mood lighting. The Studio staterooms occupy two decks and provide guests exclusive key-card access to the "Living Room". The Living Room is a two-story shared private lounge. This private / exclusive area features a concierge, bar, room service, two large TV screens and a sitting area.
If that wasn't enough, Norwegian Cruise Line revealed their spa balcony staterooms. These new staterooms are located within the spa and provide guests complimentary access to the ship's ultra-relaxing thermal suite and fitness center.

There is more to come regarding the NCL Epic, but in the mean time, enjoy these photos below:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Royal Caribbean Enhanced Suite Program

Royal Caribbean guests that have booked suite accommodations will be getting a bit more bang for their buck (actually, those suites cost many bucks)! The special treatment begins upon arrival at the pier. Although not exactly a red carpet, guests booked in the Presidential Family Suite, Royal Suite, Royal Family Suite, Owner’s Suite, and Grand Suite will be able to wiz through security and check-in via their own dedicated area. A senior officer will welcome and escort Royal Suite and Presidential Family Suite guests to their rooms. Complimentary water, fruit, slippers, luxury bathrobes, a pillow menu, and spa quality bathroom amenities await. Even the chocolates left at turndown have been upgraded to Ghirardelli! A dedicated suite attendant will be available to fulfill requests, including my favorite perk, complimentary pressing service on formal evenings. Guests will have the option of ordering from the main dining room’s full breakfast, lunch, or dinner menus to dine in the privacy of their suite or veranda. Or, when dining in the Windjammer during breakfast and lunch, they can enjoy reserved private seating in the adjacent specialty restaurants. Other special services include an invitation to a private cocktail reception hosted by the Captain, reserved VIP seating in the theater, Studio B ice rink, and pool deck, and priority spa appointments, tendering, and shore excursion tickets. Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end. However, suite guests can look forward to priority disembarkation and complimentary valet luggage service, having their bags automatically transferred to the airport. How “suite” it is!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Norwegian Cruise Line Back Stage Tour

There was a time when taking a tour of the “bridge” on a cruise ship was a highlight for many. This is the area or room from which the ship can be commanded. Sort of like the cockpit of an airplane. Over the years security has tightened around these key spots, and access to this quarter has been denied to passengers. That is until now! Norwegian Cruise Line has recently announced a new tour for guests that will make them privy to many of those zones on a ship that have been previously off limits. Get a first hand look at the area where those truckloads of provisions ordered for a one week cruise are stored. Organization is a must, with a place for everything, and everything in its place. Then move through the galley of blinding stainless steel to observe where the thousands of meals for the week are prepared. Watch a chef as he demonstrate his skills, and stick around to taste his creation! (The deluxe tour includes a sushi lunch, cocktails and dinner at Cagneys). Ever wonder who was doing all that washing and folding that resulted in those crisp white sheets you sleep on every night? Visit the laundry facilities and find out. Meet the Environmental Officer and get the chance to chat with him regarding environmental policies, procedures, and systems aboard the ship. Truly go backstage to tour the theater and uncover some of the secrets that make NCL production shows so amazing. Last but not least, meet the captain, and / or his officers on his own turf…the bridge. Discover what it takes to make this enormous vessel glide effortlessly through the ocean. I doubt he will let you “drive”, but I bet he’ll take a picture with you!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Celebrity Cruises Returns to Bermuda

Celebrity Cruises has announced that they will resume Bermuda cruises round-trip from Cape Liberty, New Jersey starting in 2010. Better yet, these 7-night Bermuda cruises will be on the highly rated Celebrity Summit, one of the elegant Millennium-class ships.

To celebrate the great news, a festive “Celebrity Is Back” party was held for the staff at Direct Line Cruises on March 6, hosted by Marie La Cava of Celebrity Cruises. In explaining why this particular itinerary was so significant, Marie offered this historical perspective. “Although Celebrity Cruises merged with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in 1997 and now offers cruises to virtually every corner of the world, Celebrity Cruises has its roots right here when it started offering 7-night cruises to Bermuda round-trip from New York City on the Celebrity Meridian back in 1989”.

So, the return of Celebrity & Bermuda cruises from the Northeast area is quite a homecoming event. To help welcome back Celebrity Cruises, Direct Line Cruises is now offering a two-week early booking incentive featuring onboard credits up to $100 for reservations on the Celebrity Summit that are made between March 6 and March 19, 2009, in addition to free travel insurance and special introductory rates. This promotion applies to the regular 7-night Bermuda cruises on Celebrity Summit from Cape Liberty, New Jersey as well as the 7-night and 14-night Canada / New England sailings on that ship from Cape Liberty, New Jersey.

Welcome Back Celebrity Cruises. We missed you!