Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So What Exactly is Facial Recognition Software?

"Facial recognition software…sounds like some kind of covert spying paraphernalia!  And maybe it is, but it has a pretty cool application onboard the Norwegian Epic too!  Seasoned cruisers know that when you board a ship, security snaps your picture and it’s embedded within your cruise key card. Now with this new software and its “proprietary indexing system” a computer can match a guest’s faces and identification details anytime they smile for the ship’s photographer, thereby linking guests to their photos!  When a guest wants to view their pictures taken onboard all they have to do is swipe their cruise key card at the photo shop kiosks and presto…the photos appear onscreen for viewing and purchasing!  Gone is the wasted time spent wandering among the rows and rows of thousands of passenger’s photos in order to find the one of the pirate holding his machete at your throat as you disembarked in the Bahamas…a cruise memory you can’t live without!  Now you can spend more time sunning instead of hunting through the multitude of pics on a search and destroy mission in order to find the photo that was snapped at dinner that you’re sure caught you with spinach stuck in your front teeth!  From what I understand, a guest can even purchase a CD of an entire week of photos!  Isn’t technology grand?"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

That is one BIG chandelier

"Guests sailing on the brand new Norwegian Epic will be treated with some incredible eye candy.  This past week, Norwegian Cruise Line announced they sucessfully installed the largest chandelier at sea.  This LED chandelier hangs from the NCL's Epic Casino and spans vertically to 3 decks down.  Even if guests are not making donations in the casino, they will be able to view this color changing chandelier in a variety of public spaces such as the Teppanyaki restaurant, Shaker's Martini Bar, Wasabi Sushi Bar and the grand atrium.

The entire staff of Direct Line Cruises will be onboard the Norwegian Epic this July when she is introduced to travel agents in New York City.  Be sure to check out our blog for our full review with photos."

Monday, June 07, 2010

Shrek Sailing the High Seas with Royal Caribbean

"Cruising has always been a family friendly vacation.  Pools, kid’s clubs, mini golf, round the clock ice cream…what more can a family ask for? How about adding a 10 foot green Ogre, the wild and wacky animals of Madagascar and a lovable panda that longs to be a martial arts champion? Well look no further!  You can have all of the above aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas!

Royal Caribbean has announced a partnership with Dream Works Animation that will bring a slew of exciting new family programming to Allure of the Seas!  Those inimitable parades found only on Royal Caribbean ships will be bigger, better and boisterous when Shrek and his cohorts boogie on down the Royal Promenade! Character meals promise to be a zany affair that nobody will want to miss!  What a great way to not only enjoy a yummy breakfast, but also get some one on one time with the characters.  And don’t worry if you’re not too good with a camera because there will be ship photographers there and everywhere to catch every precious moment!

These crazy characters have also found their way into favorite Royal Caribbean shows!  Details have not been released but I’m guessing the How to Train Your Dragon Ice Show will star Hiccup, the Viking teenager/dragon slayer and the fiery but friendly dragon too!  The Aqua Show is always amazing to watch, so the Madagascar Aqua Show, “Let You Entertain Me” is sure to make a splash with the entire family! But there’s even more!  Feature 3-D movies such as the newly released Shrek Forever After and Monsters vs. Aliens allows your family to be totally immersed in the story and its action!

 Allure of the Seas, along with Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, Po, Alex, Marty and Melman, will begin sailing in December 2010 out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  In 2011, the “Dream Works Experience” will begin rolling out on Oasis of the Sea, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.  Book today at Direct Line Cruises and make your next family vacation an absolutely unforgettable adventure!"

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Enhancements

"Good news for all Crown & Anchor members! You spoke and Royal Caribbean listened!  In addition to the many perks that membership offers loyal Royal Caribbean cruisers, new enhancements went into effect June 1st.

Members will continue to enjoy first-to-know priority notice and access to new developments, special events and exclusive offers that reward their loyalty. In addition, the “Ultimate Value Booklet,” is being upgraded and filled with new onboard savings for beverages, internet packages, photo and logo merchandise, among others discounts.  How nice to have a coupon book we can actually use and receive value from!

Complimentary space available stateroom upgrades will be offered to Diamond and Diamond Plus guests on cruises of 5 nights or longer.  Two factors determine the upgrade priority; cruise credits and booking date.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Glimpse at the Celebrity Summit

Oh, those first impressions!  I was only invited for lunch; little time to look her over, yet I was impressed over the course of our short acquaintance.  She was not overdressed, but rather well appointed and refined.  The colors she wore did not assault; instead her soft hues came off as quite sophisticated.  I would not describe her as flashy, though she sported her share of glitz and glam in an understated and gracious manner.  One look was all it took before I knew… Celebrity Summit was a very special ship!

 The Celebrity Summit, which debuted in 2001, is a Millennium class ship.  More than once “Conde Nast Traveler” has named the Summit one of the top ten “best large ships.”  At  91,000 tons and with the ability to carry 2,038 passengers she is no match in size to today’s mega-ships.  No matter, there is no need for her to compete with ships that resemble floating cities, and you need only step onboard to discover where her true charm lies.

  The three- story Grand Foyer with its classic marble flooring, mahogany pillars and hints of Old World decor make you feel as if you’ve stepped into an elegant European hotel. Yet the exquisite translucent onyx staircase has an Art Deco flavor, liberating the area of any illusion of stuffiness. Public areas were stylishly done, my favorite being the eclectically furnished Michael’s Club.  The Martini Bar and Champagne Bar were contemporary and chic with groupings of intimate seating areas.  Lunch was simply sublime at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant with its sweeping staircase, stately columns and opulent décor. If only there was time to linger with a cappuccino at the Cova Café…