Monday, February 24, 2020

The Newly Renovated Norwegian Spirit


The Norwegian Spirit has undergone a $100 million renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, designed to update and elevate the standard of the fleet.

I love the variety of restaurants on a Norwegian ship but the Spirit was definitely lacking in this area.  It’s good to hear they added additional complimentary dining venues such as another main dining room, Taste; the 24-hour eatery, The Local Bar and Grill; the all-day dining outlet, Garden CafĂ©; the Great Outdoors Bar; and Waves Pool Bar. I was particularly excited to see the addition of the specialty restaurant Onda by Scarpetta (Onda, which is Italian for “wave,” will combine a classic approach to old-world fare, including using in-house-made pasta, with its own signature seafood dishes, to offer a new take on Italian cuisine).

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Should You Cancel Your Cruise Due To Corona Virus?


Let me first say that I would never tell a client that he or she should or should not cancel their cruise due to the Corona virus. That is a personal decision. Like many of our clients, Direct Line Cruises' employees have upcoming cruises, so it’s something we have been discussing quite a bit in the office.  Here are my personal thoughts.


The media loves to sensationalize a story, and although Corona virus is a news-worthy story, I’m not sure the media is doing a good job of telling the whole story.  I think the continuous coverage is instilling irrational fear in people when instead it should be educating people a bit more. I once read that psychologists feel that people estimate the probability of an event happening by the ease with which such instances come to mind. Well, it’s easy to see what’s happening here! Corona virus is on everyone’s mind!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Why Reef-Safe Sunscreen Is Important


Reef-safe sunscreen…I keep hearing about these products but I admit, until I started to get ready for my upcoming Caribbean vacation, I never really gave it my full attention. So I started Googling the term and what I discovered was a bit alarming!


I read that up to 6,000 tons of sunscreen (the equivalent of 25 million bottles) are estimated to wash off human bodies and into coral reefs around the globe each year.  And yes, that’s a big problem!  It seems that some of the ingredients in sunscreen may damage the world’s coral reef systems and other more!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Azamara... When Luxury Does Not Mean Stuffy


I had begun to plan a cruise with a friend of mine and we were discussing the cruise lines that offered a particular itinerary we were interested in. I recommended Azamara, a favorite of mine.  Her response made me chuckle when she said her husband wouldn’t be comfortable on a luxury cruise line. It was funny because the reality of it was that her and her husband couldn’t be a better match for an Azamara cruise!  It’s all about how you define luxury.

Some people equate luxury with glitz, caviar champagne and a butler!  But each luxury cruise line will have a distinctive personality, and while this may define some cruise lines, it certainly does not represent all them all! Most cruise lines, including Azamara, will share other characteristics that define them as luxury cruises without all the over-the-top amenities. Luxury can mean a smaller ship with a greater staff to passenger ratio and therefore a more personalized onboard experience. Taking the onboard experience a bit further, the entertainment may be more sophisticated with more guest lecturers, learning experiences and seminars. Luxury lines give a more inclusive experience generally including gratuities, beverage packages and sometimes shore excursions.  The cruise itineraries tend to offer longer stays in ports that the larger ships don’t even visit. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

2 Scoops of Oceania's "Regatta Royale" Please


You scream, I scream…we all scream for ice cream!  Especially when it’s the handmade, unique flavors of Humphrey Slocombe Ice Cream, and served onboard your Oceania cruise!

Oceania is partnering with California-based, small-batch brand Ice Cream Humphry Slocombe,a leader in cutting-edge flavors and uncompromising quality. And what flavors!!!! There’s "Secret Breakfast" (bourbon ice cream and cornflake cookies); "Toast & Jam" (brown-butter ice cream, jam swirl and pieces of brioche); and "Harvey Milk & Honey Graham" (raw Pacific Northwest blackberry honey and house-made graham crackers). In addition, the offerings will include a custom flavor collaboration inspired by the sea… “Regatta Royale” (bittersweet dark fruity chocolate with orange zest and smoked sea salt).

All of the Humphry Slocombe's ice cream flavors available at sea will be made fresh daily. The new ice cream debuts in February aboard Oceania's Marina and Riviera, and will roll out fleetwide by May.



Sunday, January 05, 2020

Celebrity Cruises Let’s You Extend Your Stay


Would you pay to extend your stay aboard a Celebrity ship for half a day? Well, it’s now an option on cruises from Port Everglades as well as select European sailings.
 
Guests still have to disembark (as late as 9 AM), go through customs, and move their luggage to a holding area.   A Celebrity representative will then escort them back on board to enjoy some extra hours in the public areas.  The guests will no longer have access to a cabin but they can lounge at the pool with a Bloody Mary or mimosa, as the classic beverage package is included in the extension price!

This option is a wonderful alternative to hanging out at the airport all day when you have a late flight. The price of the Celebrity “Extend Your Stay” package is $79 per adult (but remember, that price includes the classic beverage package) and $39 per child. So what do you say, would you pay to extend your stay?