Monday, July 16, 2018

Azamara South African Land and Sea Packages


I am told Africa is one of the most beautiful continents in the world. One day I will see for myself. It’s on my bucket list (a VERY LONG bucket list) but the how, when or where details are still a bit vague. Then I read about Azamara’s South African Land and Sea Packages and thought it was such a wonderful itinerary, I wanted to share it in case Africa is on your bucket list too!

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Cruising Out of Baltimore


Our “Hate to Fly” tagline, obvious in all print advertisement from Direct Line Cruises, is based on the fact that if you do hate to fly, you are never more than a couple of hours drive from a cruise terminal. However, it’s never a bad idea to arrive the day before, just in case (weather, traffic delays etc).  If you’re cruising on the Carnival Pride or Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas and Baltimore is where you’ll be embarking, I’ve put together some suggestions on how to spend the day before you board!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Halloween on the High Seas with Disney Cruise Line




Although Halloween is months away, Disney Cruise Line is already planning for it’s not so scary Halloween celebrations onboard its ships this coming fall. The festivities include lively entertainment and elaborate décor, including The Pumpkin Tree, which magically transforms throughout the cruise.

Other special experiences include:


·       Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party, a celebration with games, dancing and candy! Beloved Disney characters, wearing special Halloween costumes just for the occasion will join guests for a costume party.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cruise Lines Protecting the Future of the Oceans


The cruise lines depend on the oceans so it is only right that they oblige to environmental practices which help preserve the marine environment. Here are some recent initiatives that confirm that commitment.
  
Royal Caribbean has pledged to eliminate plastic straws by the end of 2018. The line will ask guests to use paper straws instead of plastic, according to its Save the Waves program. The cruise line also plans to remove other plastic items, such as bags, cups and condiment packets, at the start of 2019. Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain stated,
“Healthy oceans are vital to the success of our company. For over 25 years, our Save the Waves program has guided us to reduce, reuse, and recycle everything we can."

 Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced that it has partnered with Ocean Conservancy. The company will join Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance, actively working toward solutions that will mitigate plastic waste entering the ocean. Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said, “We are excited to lead the cruise industry by joining the Trash Free Seas Alliance® and support Ocean Conservancy’s vision of a world with waterways, beaches and oceans free of plastic waste.”


Monday, June 04, 2018

A Royal Amplified Independence of the Seas


Royal Caribbean is amping up your favorite ship!  Called Royal Amplified, these renovations are total transformations!  It took 30-days and a budget of $110 million, but Independence of the Seas, the first ship to undergo the modernization, is ready to strut her stuff!


New and exciting adventure experiences include:
  • ·         The Sky Pad, a bungee trampoline apparatus used with virtual reality goggles
  • ·         Battle for Planet Z, a glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience
  • ·         The Perfect Storm waterslides

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Experiences Offered in the Cruise Line's Thermal Suite


I hope my explanation last week of a cruise ship’s spa area called the thermal suite was informative. As people begin to realize how the natural elements of the world we inhabit create such a strong foundation of healing and relaxation, the thermal suites aboard cruise ships become a real draw for passengers looking for holistic experiences that revitalize body, mind and spirit. Below are two of the best thermal suites at sea.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What is a Thermal Suite?


One of the most relaxing areas onboard a cruise ship is the thermal suite, yet many people are unaware of its existence or for that matter, what it is.    A thermal suite is a series of rooms in the spa designed to  expose the body to hot and cold temperatures, both wet and dry. Aside from pure relaxation, the various rooms are designed to sooth, stimulate circulation, and detoxify the body as well as invigorate the senses.  A thermal spa may consist of saunas, steam rooms, ice fountains, tropical and cold showers, snow rooms, salt caves etc. And after trying out the various options there’s nothing quite like a nap on one of the heated ceramic loungers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

More Cuba Cruises to Choose From


If you’re ready to experience the rich history and vibrant culture of Cuba, chances are your favorite cruise line has a perfect itinerary for you. Whereas a year ago Cuba as a port-of-call was limited to short itineraries on select cruise lines, we are beginning to see several cruise lines expanding Cuba offerings.

Carnival Cruise Line has recently announced 23 new Cuba sailings for 2019. While many leave from the Florida ports of Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Carnival will also operate eight five-day trips to Cuba from Charleston, South Carolina!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Our Favorite Things About the Norwegian Bliss


It was a great weekend for the staff of Direct Line Cruises because it was spent on the beautiful Norwegian Bliss.  The Bliss is a Breakaway Plus class ship, and a sister ship to the Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Escape (one of my absolute favorite ships).  There’s so much to gush about, I could go on and on. There is NOTHING we didn’t like! However, due to space, let me share some of our favorite things:

 “Jersey Boys.” I kid you not when I say that our staff thought this show was better than the Broadway version!  Really! If you’re not familiar with this show (is that even possible?) it tells the story of '60s rock band Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. Really interesting story about the bands history and the music will never get old. I bet you still know all the words to "Oh What a Night," “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” "Walk Like a Man," and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Work Out with Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch Spa


I never thought I would say that the availability of a well-equipped fitness center has become a top criterion in selecting where I stay on vacation. Throw in some classes and I’m in vacation heaven!  Now with Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch teaming up to revamp the current onboard fitness programs I think it’s time for me to book my next Celebrity cruise!
 
Celebrity Cruises is introducing twenty new fitness classes and seminar experiences are being introduced.  There are six class categories based on different core needs and exercise groups: Sweat, Conditioning, Longevity, Mindfulness, Nutrition, and Acupuncture.  For example:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Take a Cruise Vacation…For Your Health


I’m never shocked when I hear the statistic that the average U.S. employee only takes half of his or her eligible vacation time. Although I have all my vacation days planned out a year in advance (after all, planning is half the fun), I really must coax my husband into requesting all his due days!  Crazy, right? Well with summer right around the corner now is the time to plan a cruise vacation and I’ll share with you some reasons why it's actually good for your health!


Taking cruise vacation is good for your health! Lots of studies have highlighted the potential cardiovascular-health benefits of taking a vacation, including reducing the risk of heart disease. The Framingham Heart Study (a long-term, multi-generational study, designed to identify genetic and environmental factors influencing the development of cardiovascular and other disease) showed that women who take at least two vacations a year are eight times less likely to have coronary heart disease. A study done with men who had an elevated risk for coronary disease, showed that those who didn’t take an annual vacation were 32% more likely to die from a heart attack than the vacationers.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Vinotherapy On Your Next MSC Cruise?


How do you de-stress?  For me it’s sipping a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Or, once a month I treat myself to a massage or facial at the local day spa. Now how indulgent would it be to sort of
combine the two… and call it Vinotherapy?

Well, the idea is not new and MSC Cruises has just launched a signature collection of spa treatments created with vinotherapy products from Bocelli Wines!

So, what exactly is Vinotherapy?  Vinotherapy is holistic wellness idea dating back to Medieval times that uses wine by-products, such as grape seeds, skins, and stems to heal and rejuvenate the body. Think Merlot facials, Sauvignon massages, Chardonnay scrubs…

Monday, April 09, 2018

Viking’s River & Ocean Voyages


River or ocean cruise?  It’s a tough question to answer because I can easily make quite a case for either! To have the best of both is as simple as combining both into one fabulous, seamless itinerary.  So that is exactly what Viking has done. Beginning this summer Viking is combining river and ocean cruises in a single journey.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line's Q Texas Smokehouse


Country singer-songwriter and recording artist, Camille Rae will be performing on the Norwegian Bliss which is set to debut this spring. Accompanied by her four-piece band, Rae will perform country music’s hottest hits as well as signature classics from April 21–June 30 in Q Texas Smokehouse the ship’s new dining venue featuring authentic Texas barbecue.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Adds More Adventure Shore Excursions


If you are under the impression that a cruise line shore excursion is nothing more than following a guide holding a little flag high in the air, you couldn’t be more wrong!  Not that this type of tour is always inappropriate…it certainly has a time and place.  However, these days, so much more is offered, especially through Celebrity Cruises!

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Perfect Day At Coco Cay


I love listening to a client chatter enthusiastically about their last Caribbean cruise! Would it surprise you if I told you that most of these cruisers share the same favorite port of call? Young or old, male or female, those traveling with kids and those without, all say their day spent on the cruise line’s private island was the highlight of their vacation! I must agree! Step off your ship on to pristine beaches, fine, white sand, crystal clear blue waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, colorful frothy umbrella drinks…I can go on and on! And these days the cruise lines are sparing no expense to make their private island the oasis you never want to leave!


In one of the company’s most ambitious projects yet, RoyalCaribbean has unveiled its new Perfect Day Island Collection, a series of unrivaled and exclusive private island destinations around the world. The first in the collection, Perfect Day at CocoCay, is a $200 million transformation of the cruise line’s existing private island in The Bahamas.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

“The Secret Silk” Premieres on Princess Cruise Line


You may not know his name, but Stephen Schwartz is the Oscar-, Grammy- and Tony Award-winning composer of “Wicked,” “Godspell,” and “Pippin.” However, if you’re looking to see what he’s been doing lately, you’ll be far from Broadway.   Mr. Schwartz has taken his genius to the high seas collaborating with Princess Cruises on several projects.  “The Secret Silk” is the third production in the Stephen Schwartz and Princess Cruises relationship.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Dining Aboard the Celebrity Edge


Celebrity Cruises revealed details of the dining program aboard the soon to sail Celebrity Edge and I have to say, I absolutely love how they have updated the main dining choices! No worries, it’s nothing too radical…I’d call it a modernization of the dining program! Instead of a main dining room, the Edge will have four complimentary restaurants. I like this because although I’ve always found the main dining rooms on Celebrity ships to be elegant and beautiful, I personally prefer to dine in a more intimate setting.

All four of its main dining restaurants will be different, inspired by four different regions of the world.  Normandie will feature French cuisine, Cyprus Restaurant will highlight Mediterranean, Cosmopolitan will present new American cuisine, and Tuscan Restaurant will serve Italian-inspired dishes.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Princess Cruises Opens a Denali Treehouse


Have you ever caught an episode of the Animal Planet television series, Treehouse Masters?  It’s been on for quite a few years and it’s a pretty cool show! It follows designer / builder Pete Nelson and his crew, as they travel around the country building tree houses! Amazing, incredible tree houses that are built for kids, for family homes, and even as retreats. And more recently, Princess Cruises, in association with the line’s partnership with Discovery Communications, had the crew create a custom designed wilderness treehouse located at Alaska's Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Introduces the Discovery Collection Shore Excursions


Some cruisers would never consider walking off their ship with or without a guidebook in hand, to independently explore a foreign city! Many like the comfort level a shore excursion, whether it be ship sponsored or not. Others would disagree, saying there is so much more enjoyment heading out to discover a port by wandering the streets, chatting with the residents, and sitting down to enjoy the local cuisine.  Personally, my familiarity with the port city will often hedge my decision one way or the other. But if I choose a shore excursion, it must be one that offers an authentic experience I could not achieve on my own.  That is why I find Celebrity Cruises’ Discovery Collection so appealing.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

The "New" Mariner of the Seas


This coming summer Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas is repositioning to Miami to add some freshness and excitement to the standard three- and four-night Bahamas itinerary! 

However, before arriving in the sunshine state, Mariner will undergo a $90 million overhaul adding features that will make this ship a “must” for anyone looking for a quick getaway!

Here’s some fun, new experiences being added:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Disney Bringing Back Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea in 2019

Disney Cruise Line has announced that they will be bringing back the popular Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea on two different cruise ships in 2019.


Marvel Day at Sea will be offered on 10 Disney Magic cruises from Miami, Florida. Departing January 6 and January 20, 2019, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes George Town, Grand Cayman, and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. Departing January 11, January 25, February 8, February 22, and March 8, 2019, the Bahamas itinerary includes Key West, Nassau, and Castaway Cay. Departing February 3, February 17 and March 3, 2019, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; and Castaway Cay.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

How About Cruising to South America?

Many travel writers call South America the most exciting continent on the planet. It’s no wonder considering all that South America has to offer; cosmopolitan cities, rich cultures, gorgeous beaches and some of the world’s most amazing sights. The diversity of travel experiences is simply awe-inspiring and there’s no better way to sample it than by a land and sea cruise vacation!


Extraordinary Sites:  South America boasts over 100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!  Places such as Iguacu National Park in Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, and Machu Picchu in Peru and the dramatic Chilean fjords are on many people’s bucket list.  In Brazil, no sight is more famous than the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio. A call at Buenos Aires gives access to the impressive Iguazu Falls, one of nature’s most impressive monuments. And there’s so much more!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Escape from Winter on a Cruise to…

So much of the east coast spent last Thursday sipping hot chocolate while watching Mother Nature cast her fury down upon us in the form of snow, wind and arctic temperatures, right outside their window.  And if you’re like me, you are looking past all that snow, absorbed in a daydream of balmy temps, palm trees, and powdery white sand between your toes!  It’s definitely time to hop on a cruise ship to someplace where the dress code is no more than shorts, tees and flip flops!


A Caribbean cruise is an obvious choice. The islands hit by this fall’s hurricanes are once again ready to welcome visitors and many cruises leave from a port near you, eliminating the hassle of a flight.   Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas offers some great itineraries right out of Cape Liberty, New Jersey. It only takes two relaxing sea days in Anthem’s gorgeous enclosed solarium before you can begin island hopping around Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados and St Kitts.  And no worries if it’s easier for you to drive to Baltimore. Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas can also get you to those same summer wonderlands!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

My Cruising Resolutions for the New Year

Some years my New Year’s resolutions revolve around diet.  I will lose ten pounds, I will eat more veggies, or I will cook healthy meal at home instead of picking up a pizza for dinner. Other years my resolutions are all about organization.  I will clean out every closet, make photo books of my last ten cruises, or possibly tackle throwing out the stuff that’s boxed away in the basement.  Results have always been on the “not so good” side.  However, this year my New Year resolutions are all about travel and cruising! Pledges that will hopefully be a lot easier and more fun to keep!

I will cruise to a new destination.  And since my Cuba cruise is already booked for May, barring any emergency, that is a resolution I will keep.  What about you?  Have you cruised to Alaska, Northern Europe or the Mediterranean yet?  What about South America, Hawaii or Asia?  You can cruise to so many wonderful places!  And while Bermuda and the Caribbean are always a good bet for a lovely time, aren’t you ready for something new?