Tuesday, August 30, 2011

December Celebrations with Royal Caribbean

It’s an early holiday gift for Royal Caribbean’s most loyal cruisers, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Crown & Anchor members!  During the month of December this elite group will enjoy double points for the sailing they choose, special commemorative gifts and invitations to exclusive events.

A cruise during the month of December will certainly put you in the “holiday spirit.” Ships are decorated from bow to stern with festively draped garland, extravagantly ornamented trees, and exquisite menorahs. There are all sorts of planned activities available, and the opportunity for quality family time abounds!  Imagine being able to sit with the kids and enjoy classic holiday movies on a big screen, or decorate crispy, buttery cookies to be enjoyed with rich hot chocolate.  The kids will enjoy creating themed arts and crafts, which will make the perfect souvenir of your holiday at sea.

This offer is available on all Royal Caribbean sailings departing Nov. 26 - Dec. 31, 2011, (except for Liberty of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas sailings departing on Nov. 26, 2011).  Call a cruise specialist at Direct Line Cruises to discuss all your December cruising options."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Royal Caribbean and Universal Studios Land and Sea Vacation Packages

Planning a family vacation is full of tough choices.  On one hand you have the kids that may be hoping for the adrenaline rush of rides, roller coasters and other theme park attractions!  A great time to be sure, but you return home needing a vacation!  Mom and dad may be longing for some R&R at sea on a well-appointed cruise ship that includes fine dining, great entertainment and maybe some pampering at the onboard day spa. What’s a family to do?

Why not both? A land and sea combo vacation! There was no way this could not be successful…the partnership between Royal Caribbean and Universal Studios, that is.  Their special land and sea package combines a 3 or 4-night stay at Universal Orlando Resort with a 3 or 4-night Bahamas cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas sailing out of Port Canaveral.  For those that want a longer vacation, that same land package could be added to a 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean cruise aboard Freedom of the Seas, also out of Port Canaveral.

How do you make this extraordinary vacation package even better?  Extend the deal to those cruising out of Tampa! Now guests can combine a 3 or 4-night Universal Orlando vacation with a 4 or 5-night Western Caribbean cruise on the lovely Jewel of the Seas. This ship has a glamorous feel with wide-open spaces and acres of towering glass that fills the interior with natural light. Her pools, restaurants, bars, lounges, kid’s clubs, casino, spa and much, much more will keep the whole family happy!

All land and sea packages include hotel, shipboard accommodations, multi-day passes to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, and ground transfers between airport, hotel, theme parks and the port. Let a cruise consultant at Direct Line Cruises help your family plan this amazing vacation by calling 1-800-352-8088."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Great Stirrup Cay Update

You may remember that a while back I told you about the $25 million upgrades that Norwegian Cruise Lines is making to their private island, Great Stirrup Cay. I discussed the new marina that was constructed for island tenders, which as a result opened up a wider expanse of beach front for guests to enjoy.  In addition, a new dining facility was added, along with picnic pavilions.

Here are the newest enhancements available for guests at Great Stirrup Cay:
  • Guests can now book eco-adventure boat tours.  These one-hour narrated catamaran tours are both relaxing and informative. What a great way to learn about the habitat and history of the Berry Islands, take in the gorgeous scenery and work on your tan at the same time!
  • Those looking for a faster paced tour will be thrilled with the new 45-minute jet ski adventure outing! Riding a jet ski is fairly simple, yet exhilarating experience! Feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face as you zip through the sea! A professional guide goes along to assure guest’s safety.
  • The world’s largest inflatable water slide is now waiting for you to try!  The new Hippo Water Slide measures 40 feet high by 175 feet long!  Yikes!  Not for the faint of heart!
  • Enjoy the clear ocean air and beautiful beaches of the island during a game of beach volleyball or ping-pong!  New sand courts and tables are available for your enjoyment.
Interested in a cruise that stops at Great Stirrup Cay? Give Direct Line Cruises a call and we can chat about all your options!"

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Special in Specialty Dining

Many years ago Norwegian Cruise Line introduced the audacious concept of charging a premium for dining in a particular restaurant aboard one of their ships. Le Bistro was an upscale French restaurant offering a menu of modern and classic gourmet cuisine unlike anything served in the ship’s main dining room.  The success of this endeavor was immediate and brought forth the now popular concept of “specialty” or “alternate” dining.

Today every cruise line offers at least one specialty restaurant on each of their ships with the newer builds having many.  There are Asian, French, Mexican and Italian bistros, traditional steak houses and Brazilian churrascarias, upscale restaurants serving continental cuisine, English pubs, and American diners.

Most specialty restaurants require a reservation.  All charge a fee from $5 to $35 per person and a few have a cover charge in addition to la carte pricing. So what then, is the lure of spending additional money to dine in any one of these places, when good meals served in lovely dining rooms are included in the price of a cruise?

Cruise line dining rooms, though very elegant with sparkling chandeliers and stylish decor, are often, noisy, colossal rooms.  On the other hand, the specialty restaurants are smaller, and the atmosphere has a more intimate feel. Instead of having a meal hurriedly served due to the constraints of a set dining time, dinners served in the alternative venues are often long, leisurely evenings conducive to savoring fine wine, exceptional cuisine and stimulating conversation.