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Monday, September 24, 2018

The Week of 9/24/2018 -> 9/29/2018


AIDA Cruises AIDAdiva Sailing From New York

Due to unforeseen events we will not be able to post updates to this blog this week BUT will be posting daily updates to NYCruiseInfo.com. Please check that site for daily updates this week.

Feature stories include

  • Ships Arrival Delayed Due to Storms (Monday)
  • Holland America Zuiderdam in Brooklyn (Tuesday)
  • Norwegian Encore Hull Art Revealed (Wednesday)
  • 5 Ships In New York (Thursday)
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 2020 Ship Deployment New York / Boston. (Friday)



 
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Monday, September 3, 2018

Damen Shipyard Start Construction on Luxury 12 Passenger Yacht.




On 27 July DAMEN SeaXplorer marked a milestone in the construction of the SeaXplorer 77 expedition yacht at a keel laying ceremony at Damen Shipyards Galati on the banks of the Danube. The owner attended the ceremony and welded the traditional coin on the keel. Following the hull building phase, the 77-metre luxury expedition yacht (253 ft) will arrive at Damen’s Vlissingen East yard in the Netherlands for completion and on-schedule delivery in Q4 2020.

The SeaXplorer 77 is a customized design from the DAMEN SeaXplorer range. The yacht accommodates 12 guests in six suites with full custom interiors, featuring the finest luxury quality and finishing created by the owner’s choice of interior designer. The 25 crew, pilots and expedition staff operate the submersible, tenders, toys and two aircraft with a fully certified helicopter-deck and helicopter hangar.

“The SeaXplorer 77 is the largest of two projects we are currently constructing from our SeaXplorer range,” comments Product Director Mark Vermeulen. “The SeaXplorer 77 shares the range’s core attributes: compliance with the IMO Polar Code, the long periods of autonomy at sea, and the crossover of super-yacht luxury with professional capability. But the design incorporates many specific client requirements such as his passion for helicopter-skiing.”

The construction of SeaXplorer 77 leverages the Damen Shipyard Group’s global strength, combining:
  • Overall management from Damen’s yachting headquarters in Vlissingen in cooperation with superyacht builder AMELS, part of Damen since 1991
  • SeaXplorer design and engineering at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands
  • Hull building at Damen Shipyards Galati, the largest of Damen’s 33 shipyards around the world. The yard’s almost 4,000 employees work on many of Damen’s most important projects to date including the 160-metre IMO Polar Code category-compliant Australian Antarctic Division research ship NUYINA.
  • Final construction and outfitting at Damen’s Vlissingen East yard, located just a few kilometers from the Vlissingen City yard where AMELS operates. A commercial and naval shipyard at heart, Vlissingen East is an integral part of our yacht building and refit offering. Indeed, a number of super-yacht refit projects for yachts measuring over 90 meters have already been completed here.





 
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Friday, August 31, 2018

Late News: Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas Sails From Miami on 3 & 4 Day Cruises After Major Refit.


Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas Post Refit Showing off her latest attractions.
Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas Post Refit Showing off her latest attractions.

I was reviewing my notes and noticed that I missed this news article from earlier in the year. I have seen photo of the renovated ship and think it looks great.  Here are all the details....

 June 21, 2018 - Coinciding with the first day of summer, Royal Caribbean International’s much-hyped Mariner of the Seas sailed into its new home at PortMiami today amped up with $120 million of new thrills, restaurants, staterooms and entertainment. Short getaways are forever changed with Mariner’s highly anticipated 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend cruises from Miami to The Bahamas. Giving millennial travelers more ways to play, the ship’s short itineraries pack more adventure than ever with Sky Pad, a virtual reality, bungee trampoline experience; the cruise line’s first Polynesian-inspired, tiki-chic bar, The Bamboo Room; glow-in-the-dark laser tag, racer waterslides and more.

         The young and young at heart are invited to ditch the expected road trip for a short and action-packed cruise vacation on board Mariner of the Seas, where the thrills come alive from day to night.


New Ways to Play
  • Sky Pad – The gravity-defying bungee trampoline experience amped up with virtual reality
  • The Perfect Storm – A thrilling pair of three-story-high racer waterslides called Cyclone and Typhoon
  • Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z – An epic glow-in-the-dark battle for the last planet in the galaxy
  • Escape Room: The Observatorium – Royal Caribbean’s newest escape room challenge
  • FlowRider – The cruise line’s signature 40-foot-long surf simulator, perfect for hanging ten
New Ways to Dine and Drink
  • The Bamboo Room – A laidback Polynesian watering hole with a throwback vibe and kitschy-cool craft cocktails like the Island Old Fashioned and Tiki Tea – the first in Royal Caribbean’s fleet
  • Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – For fans watching their home team on one of more than 25 TV screens, making their own legendary plays at the arcade, or refueling on game-day favorites
  • Jamie’s Italian – Serving fresh, handmade and rustic Italian fare by Chef Jamie Oliver, one of Britain’s most famous food exports
  • Izumi Hibachi and Sushi – Asian-inspired dining featuring hibachi, sushi and sashimi and more – made to order with authentic flavors, the freshest ingredients and impeccable presentation
         “Millennials want more frequent and shorter vacations that offer as much of that exhilarating adventure they seek. We’ve answered that call by investing $120 million in Mariner of the Seas and bringing her to Miami to sail 3- and 4-night cruises,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With the combination of more thrills than you can count and visits to tropical destinations, Mariner is changing the game and taking the short getaway experience to a whole new level.”

         Mariner of the Seas will welcome guests for the first time on Monday, June 25, as it sets sail on a 4-night cruise to The Bahamas. The newly re imagined ship will continue to offer 4-night weekday and 3-night weekend itineraries from Miami, with visits to Nassau and CocoCay. Beginning May 2019, Mariner will sail to the new Perfect Day at CocoCay, the first destination in Royal Caribbean’s recently announced collection of private island experiences around the world.

         Along with the recently amplified Independence of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas is part of Royal Caribbean’s $900 million commitment to re imagine its fleet through a new effort called Royal Amplified. The program spans 10 ships in four years and will touch every facet of the guest experience. Introducing a wide range of bold, new features and experiences – from experiential dining and nightlife concepts, and first-of-its-kind attractions – Royal Amplified reflects the company’s passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering the best vacation.


 
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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Royal Caribbean Releases VIdeo on Oasis of the Seas Manouvering Int St. Thomas

 
 
Royal Caribbean released this great video on the navigational challenges of docking the world largest ship in St. Thomas' confining harbor surrounded by protected reefs, small crafts and a limited clearance under the hull.
 
This video is very interesting and I hope you enjoy it. 
 

 
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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Scenic Announces Ultimate Voyages for the Scenic Eclipse – More Time, More Experiences


Artist Rendering of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours - Scenic Eclipse
Artist Rendering of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours - Scenic Eclipse.

 Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has announced a series of Scenic Eclipse Ultimate Voyages that offer cruise itineraries worthy of bragging rights for years. Combining select back-to-back sailings gives guests an opportunity to delve even more deeply into a variety of destinations. Guests are in for amazing experiences - whether it is the shortest of offerings – the 17-day Ultimate Mediterranean Discovery, that puts the history and cultures of the Portuguese, Moors, Spaniards, French, Romans and Greeks on display, or the longest – the 30-day Ultimate Chilean Fjords & Antarctica, which uses Lima and Buenos Aires as bookends to an inspiring journey through the Patagonian Fjords and the Antarctica Peninsula. Scenic makes booking these Ultimate Voyages even more enticing by adding a few extra perks – guaranteed Early-Bird Savings and a choice of a helicopter or submarine exploration excursion, plus guests can take advantage of any current promotion. Those who book and pay in full by Oct 31, 2018 will receive an additional savings of up to $750 per person.

Ultimate Voyages run the gamut:
  •     Ultimate Mediterranean Discovery – 17 days, Lisbon to Athens;
  •     Ultimate Maritimes & East Coast USA – 19 days along North America’s eastern seaboard from Halifax to Nassau, Bahamas;
  •     Ultimate Mediterranean Treasures – 23 days from Barcelona to Venice, exploring antiquities; and 20 days from Athens to Barcelona, exploring the Greek Islands and seacoast cities;
  •     Ultimate Seafarers & Baltics – 22 days from Barcelona to Stockholm, focusing on the world’s most famous seagoing nations of the Baltics;
  •     Ultimate Footsteps of the Seafaring Nations – 24 days from Barcelona to Bergen (Norway), taking in the Iberian Peninsula, British Isles and Scandinavia;
  •     Ultimate Caribbean & Central American Treasures – 20 days that explores Cuba, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Peru;
  •     Ultimate Arctic Islands & Iceland – 23 days exploring the Arctic’s and Iceland’s glaciers, fjords and volcanoes - from Oslo to Reykjavik;
  •     Ultimate Iceland & Atlantic Canada – 22 days from Reykjavik to Quebec, taking in Iceland and Greenland;
  •     Ultimate Baltics & Arctic Circle – 24 days combining Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Germany and Norway with the wonders of Spitsbergen;
  •     Ultimate Arctic & Fjords – 23 days searching for  polar bears around Spitsbergen before a coastal voyage along Norway’s fjord-indented west coast;
  •     Ultimate Fjords & White Sea – 25 days that explores the highlights of Norway’s west coast and the remote White Sea of Russia and its islands;
  •     Ultimate Chilean Fjords & Antarctica – 30 days, Lima to Buenos Aires with the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica in between.

“Guests on these incredible sailings will see and do more on these two- to four-week sailings than most people do in years of travel,” offered VP of US Brand Management, Joelle Davis. “The Scenic Eclipse is as luxurious as they come but what really puts it over the top of five stars are the efforts of the onboard Discovery team, who pass on their knowledge of and passion for these amazing places.”

 The 2019/2020 season introduces several new itineraries across Scenic’s fleet of innovative, luxury Discovery Yachts. New Arctic destinations join the Mediterranean, South American, and European itinerary line up, including the Russian and Canadian Arctic, and an expansion of its European Arctic itineraries, as well as new cruises along North America’s East Coast. Scenic has also introduced new departures of its Antarctica in Depth cruise and Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands itinerary.

Melding world-class innovation with incredible luxury, the Scenic Eclipse fleet offers 228 guests accommodations in 114 all-verandah suites, ranging in size from 345 ft² to 2,659 ft²; as well as 10 dining options – from Asian Fusion to French fine dining to a chef’s table to a poolside buffet; a 5,920 ft² spa with a well-equipped gym and separate yoga and Pilates studio; two six-guest helicopters and one six-guest submarine; a 240-seat theater for entertainment and lectures; indoor and outdoor plunge pools; butler service for all guests; an almost 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio; and, of course, their legendary truly all-inclusive fares.

And then there is the technology. Innovative zero-speed stabilizer fins, 50% larger than standard to provide even greater stability; the highest passenger ship ice class rating - Polar Class 6: redundancies in propulsion, navigation, safety systems and food refrigeration; state-of-the-art bridge systems; and GPS dynamic positioning system that allows for stationary positioning without the use of an anchor.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has grown over its 31-year history to include award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours that take participants to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations; two award-winning river cruise lines – Scenic and Emerald Waterways; and the world’s first Discovery Yachts – Scenic Eclipse in 2019 and a sister ship in 2020. Award-winning Emerald Waterways' seven Star Ships offer deluxe cruises in Europe and the Mekong, and in 2019, a deluxe yacht cruise on the Dalmatian Coast, while Scenic’s 15 Space-Ships offer truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises in the same destinations as well as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar and the Volga River in Russia.


 
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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Entertainment with an Edge: Celebrity Cruises Unveils its Most Technologically Advanced Theater and Revolutionary Entertainment

 
Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Edge's Revolutionary Entertainment Venues
Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Edge's Revolutionary Entertainment Venues


With its transformational design, Celebrity Edge is poised to raise the bar on modern luxury travel to even greater heights, and the entertainment on board is just as game-changing as the ship itself. On Celebrity Edge, guests will experience the brand’s most technologically advanced main theater, the most production shows of any ship in the brand’s history, the largest cast of world-class performers on any premium cruise ship, and more entertainment venues than ever before. Guests should expect nothing less from the ship that is leading THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION.
 
“With Celebrity Edge, we have created our biggest and most comprehensive lineup of entertainment to date. We’ve truly taken entertainment to the edge,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Entertainment on Celebrity is daring and bold, dynamic and refreshing, surrounding you at every turn. It makes every moment of your vacation an unforgettable journey, and the entertainment on Celebrity Edge takes this philosophy further than ever before. We are changing the future of our entertainment – just as we are with everything we are doing on Celebrity Edge.”
 
INTRODUCING THE THEATRE – A FEAT WORTHY OF A STANDING OVATION
The Theatre on Celebrity Edge throws away the curtain altogether, blurring the line between audience and performance and immersing guests in an entertainment experience like no other. With four stage areas and three gigantic, moving projection screens, The Theatre offers an ever-changing canvas for the productions that live here.
 
The main stage extends into the audience creating a theater-in-the-round sensation. A duo-directional rotating platform raises almost seven feet above the stage to take performances to a whole new level. With two rotating spiral staircases, 10 synchronized panoramic projection screens, 16 state-of-the-art video mapping laser projectors, aerial performance rigging, and more, the technology behind the scenes will at times steal the show.
 
“In designing Celebrity Edge, we developed and used some of the most advanced technology available. And, in designing the entertainment venues on Celebrity Edge, we used those same tools to break the mold of what people think an entertainment venue is,” said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises.
 
To help create an industry-leading theater space, Celebrity turned to award-winning architect and designer Scott Butler, founding partner of Wilson Butler Architects, a firm known for designing some of the most innovative arts and entertainment venues in the world.
 
“We wanted to take the idea of traditional theater and turn it on its head,” said Butler. “The Theatre on Celebrity Edge was designed to awaken people – immersing them in the experience, stimulating their senses and altering their expectations for live entertainment.”
 
To make all of The Theatre’s technology run like clockwork, Celebrity collaborated with TAIT, a leader in the stage automation business. The entire stage performs a precise synchronization of rotating stage platforms, rain curtains, spiraling staircases, flying aerial rigs, and the tallest projection screens at sea. TAIT’s automation is coupled with the visions of the Black Skull Creative group, who’ve created contemporary shows and experiences around the world, including the 2012 London Olympics. Celebrity also teamed up with Three In One Entertainment and Consulting, whose creative successes include INFERNO: The Fire Spectacular in Las Vegas.
 
“We’ve created the most exciting and technologically advanced entertainment venues in our fleet, so of course we worked with the most revolutionary production companies,” said Becky Thomson-Foley, Associate Vice President, Entertainment, Celebrity Cruises. “We are combining incredible venues with visionary experiences that will stay with guests long after they leave.”
 
At The Theatre, guests can enjoy five new full production shows, including the Shakespeare-inspired A Hot Summer Night’s Dream, where light-hearted theater meets extraordinary acrobatics; The Jewelry Box, with its jaw-dropping technological feats; Kaleidoscope, a high-energy music and dance extravaganza harnessing the stage’s state-of-the-art technology; and two shows as part of Celebrity’s new Headline Residency program – Get Up, a dynamic pop concert produced by Black Skull Creative, and The Purpose, an uplifting production designed to celebrate the inner self.
 
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Brought to life once again in collaboration with the visionaries behind Eden – Butler and famed designer and architect Patricia Urquiola – The Club on Celebrity Edge is a progressive space that changes its persona from morning to... well, early the next morning. 
 
During the day, The Club offers experiences such as the Funovation Laser Maze Challenge, the Drone Hunting laser obstacle course, and more.
 
At night, The Club undergoes yet another transformation. Undercover at The Club puts a contemporary spin on the Prohibition era with 20’s-inspired craft cocktails and an aerial saxophonist. The futuristic body scanner of Andromeda allows guests to become someone else for the evening. And Celebrity’s Hypno Cam Experience is a first-at-sea dance party featuring a high-tech camera that’s passed around to capture photos, which are instantly displayed on a giant LED screen.
 
NEVER THE SAME CAMP TWICE
On Celebrity Edge, the brand takes its fully customizable Camp at Sea program to the next level for younger travelers of all ages with more than 500 activities, including Celebrity’s first youth coding experience at sea, and two completely separate contemporary spaces, one for the kids and one for the teens.
 
ENTERTAINMENT EVERYWHERE
Celebrity has infused entertainment throughout the ship. At the Rooftop Garden, guests can enjoy experiences such as the Rooftop Concert Series and the Garden Cinema Series, the next evolution of the brand’s Taste of Film experience that’s an under-the-stars moviegoing experience with live musical performances.
 
The iconic Eden will feature evolving entertainment as the space transforms from a “chillful” escape in the mornings to “playful” in the afternoons to “sinful” at night. Daytime experiences include Meditation at Eden and performances from sitar players to aerialists. As dusks falls, Eve at Eden begins. Developed in partnership with Variety Worldwide, this theatrical journey will indulge every sense and put guests at the center of the experience, for a fusion of culinary exploration, performance art and nightlife – like nothing else at sea, or even on land.



 
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Monday, August 27, 2018

Norwegian Transforms Three Ships with Bow-To-Stern Enhancements


 
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star Completes Refit.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star Completes Refit.
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completed refurbishments of three ships, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star, further showcasing its commitment to extraordinary quality and the guest experience. 

As part of The Norwegian Edge®, the company’s program designed to elevate the standard of excellence across its fleet, the revitalized ships now feature new designs and venues including Los Lobos Cantina, an upscale Mexican restaurant; the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O; and Syd Norman’s Pour House – an American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge, which makes its debut aboard Norwegian Breakaway.

“What a year this has been for us at Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Andy Stuart, the brand’s president and chief executive officer. “Not only did we introduce our latest and record-breaking ship, Norwegian Bliss, and announce the redeployment of her sister ship Norwegian Joy, but we are now unveiling our newly revitalized ships, Norwegian Breakaway, Sun and Star. This is a testament to how invested we are in our guests’ experience. Although we are one of the youngest fleets in the industry, we are very committed to The Norwegian Edge program which allows us to remain consistent, relevant and exciting.”

Norwegian Breakaway
Norwegian Breakaway, which was built in 2013, debuts the new American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge Syd Norman’s Pour House as well as upgraded accommodations, public spaces and more, following a two-week dry dock in Brest, France.  

A testament to Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to providing the best entertainment at sea, Syd Norman’s Pour House is an authentic and immersive experience inspired by the greatest clubs in American rock ‘n’ roll history.  Replacing Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, Syd Norman’s is a tribute to the grandfather of “Rock of Ages” playwright Chris D’Arenso and modeled after influential rock houses such as CBGB’s, The Rainbow and the Fillmore.  Vintage décor, diner-style seating and an unforgettable playlist of classic rock from the late 1960’s to 1980’s come together to bring this high-caliber entertainment offering to life. Three times a week, cast members from “Rock of Ages” will treat guests to specialty cocktails named after rock ‘n’ roll classics such as “The Witchy Woman” among others in the interactive Syd Norman’s Experience. Guests will also rock-out to a five-person band playing classics six nights a week. 

Additional upgrades include enhancements to Bliss Ultra Lounge with new, premium furniture; new carpet in all 2,014 staterooms and suites; a full transformation of the gift shop; and new carpet installations in the staircases, elevators and lobbies.

Norwegian Sun
Built in 2001, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation in Victoria, BC.  As a result, she now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces, and boasts three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.  

Los Lobos Cantina is a Mexican restaurant offering a modern take on traditional favorites like guacamole prepared tableside, al pastor tacos, enchiladas de mole and handcrafted margaritas. Replacing Las Ramblas Bar and Restaurant, Los Lobos Cantina features leather banquettes, dark wood tables and seating and ranchero-style design accents.

Bliss Ultra Lounge, formerly Dazzles, is the new bar and nightclub where guests can begin or end their evenings. Enhancements include an updated look with new plush seating, cocktail tables, bar stools, chandeliers, wall sconces, wall coverings, ornamental ceilings and a wooden dance floor.
The Spinnaker Lounge replaces the Observation Lounge and showcases a fresh design with a natural color palette reminiscent of blue, beige and tan. New to the venue are leather chairs, carpet, chandeliers, wall coverings and a stone top bar.

All 968 staterooms were upgraded with smart televisions and USB ports as well as new carpet, artwork and select furniture. The newly revitalized accommodations pay tribute to the beauty of the surrounding ocean with a palette of cool blue hues and silver and turquoise accents. The adorning abstract art within the staterooms and suites are the ideal complement to the new and modern feel.

The renovations also touched dining outlets and public spaces including Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, the Mandara Spa, Stardust Lounge Theater, Splash Academy and more.

Norwegian Star
Following a nearly three-week dry dock in Barcelona, Spain, Norwegian Star underwent extensive enhancements to its staterooms, public spaces, restaurants, bars and lounges. The ship, built in 2001, also unveiled three new venues: Sky High Bar, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spice H2O.

Sky High Bar showcases a new design complete with an updated bar and seating for close to 120 guests.  Replacing Bier Garten, the outdoor bar and lounge offers the best views on board.

Bliss Ultra Lounge replaces Spinnaker Lounge for late-night entertainment and now boasts a light, neutral color palette and a complete redesign with new carpet, custom loungers, seating, an upgraded bar and artwork.
For the first time, Norwegian Star will offer the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O. This well-appointed venue features a private pool, hot tubs, full bar and uninterrupted ocean views. During the day, it makes an ideal spot for sunbathing, and at night, it transforms into an open-air lounge with live entertainment, DJs and energizing themed nights. 

All 1,174 staterooms and suites were outfitted with USB ports, enhanced with over 1,500 works of art and upgraded with new carpet, headboards and select furniture. The three-bedroom garden villas which feature private deck areas and can accommodate up to seven people were also remodeled to offer a light and airy design.
Additional enhancements were made to the bars and lounges, restaurants and public spaces including Atrium Café & Bar, Garden Café and the main dining rooms. A VIP section was also added in the casino.


 
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Friday, August 24, 2018

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line to Host Palm Beach PalmCon.


Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Classica Will Host PalmCon - Palm Beach's Version of Comic Con
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Classica Will Host PalmCon - Palm Beach's Version of Comic Con

Our very own Comic-Con is here! Come celebrate PalmCon at Sea with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line onboard Grand Classica on October 12th thru October 14th sailing! This event is expected to fill the ship quickly as PalmCon is a popular event amongst the Comic-Con industry, it’s a family friendly event, and will host many activities for all ages.

Let’s go over what PalmCon Cruise actually is… This is a convention, also referred to as Comic-Con that celebrates all and everything to do with Superheroes, Sci-Fi, Anime, Pop Culture, Video games, Role Playing, and Fantasy Card games. PalmCon is in its 8th year, and is Palm Beach County’s original Comic-Con. This multi-genre entertainment is something you don’t want to miss out on, especially if you have a love for anything Comic-Con! A large fan base comes from all over to celebrate PalmCon, along with spectators, however, most fans who attend PalmCon are dressed as their favorite characters which can also be referred to as cosplay, dressing up for Comic-Con is huge part of the convention a lot of passion and time go into these costumes for wearer and the fans. Cosplay is a big part of Comic-Con and a few hundred of the best go on to compete in contests for prizes. They are stars in their own right due to the immense effort that they put into their costumes and characters. Cosplay characters can range from an array of different genres such as comic book characters, anime, video games, movies, TV shows and books. This is what makes PalmCon Cruise so special, the shared enthusiasm for this convention and all that is has to offer its fans and spectators.


PalmCon Participant in Dress - 2019 Palm Beach Cruise on Paradise Cruise Line Grand Classica
PalmCon Participant in Dress - 2019 Palm Beach Cruise on Paradise Cruise Line Grand Classica

This year, PalmCon is taking to the waters (The PalmCon Cruise). This is a unique way to celebrate this convention and it will be amazing! On board the Grand Classica our guests will be surrounded by everything PalmCon Cruise has to offer, it will be a pure Comic-Con environment. Once you’ve boarded Grand Classica aka PalmCom Cruise, you’ll be given a program, which will cover all the events and amazing activities for that day. There will be several key areas on board the PalmCon cruise just like a Comic-Con would offer, such as celebrity photo-ops and autograph area, along with them appearing on stage and in panel rooms to discuss their projects with fans. There will be various guests; such as Jeh Howell will be onboard PalmCon Cruise this year! Here’s a brief background on his accolades… Jeh is a creature designer and professional make-up artist who owns a company called Factory of Effects, which also creates prosthetics used for file and television productions. Jeh and his company have worked on notable productions for ID channel (Investigative Discovery), Zombiland, and theatrical stage productions. Also on board PalmCon Cruise, we’ll have Cody Dickerson of Cody’s Cosplay Carnival in attendance!  He’s gaining a lot of traction in the Cosplayer world, and has won over Florida with his passion for cosplay, along with his unique and creative takes on his creations by adding defused LEDs and even foggers to his cosplays.  Cody has achieved incredible of success in just over a year as a self-taught cosplayer. Some other (but not limited) key areas on board PalmCon Cruise will be The Featured Artist section that highlight up and coming artists along with showcasing the work of already established artists, The Gaming section that will include: video games, role playing games, and fantasy card games; The Panel Room(s) that will host celebrity and expert discussions along with workshops, and The Vendors sections that will cover all your shopping PalmCon needs for comic books, toys, collectibles, t-shirts, costumes and pop culture memorabilia.

Don’t miss out on PalmCon Cruise, this is a rare experience where you can reveal in some of your favorite characters, meet some extremely talented artists, even talk shop with them. There will be an array of activities that are fun for everyone on board PalmCon Cruise; this multi-genre entertainment is something you and your family don’t want to miss out on.


 
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Coral Expeditions Building Their Next Generation of Exploration Vessel.



Coral Expeditions' New Coral Adventurer, expected to be Delivered by Vard mid-2019
Coral Expeditions' New Coral Adventurer, expected to be Delivered by Vard mid-2019
Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise line, has a boutique style cruise ship under construction with the Norwegian shipbuilder Vard.  Work is progressing nicely on the Coral Adventurer which is due to be delivered in mid-2019.

In the planning for over two years, this new ship is designed for ocean cruising to remote tropical areas and draws on the latest technical advances as well as Coral Expeditions’ 34 years of experience building and operating expedition ships.

Modern and rugged, the new ship will carry a maximum of only 120 guests in 60 cabins, preserving Coral Expeditions’ traditionally relaxed and intimate onboard atmosphere. She will be Australian flagged and conform to the highest standards of build quality, operational redundancy, environmental compliance, and safety.

Vard is a Norwegian-headquartered company with nine shipyards globally and a long history of building complex and sophisticated ships to operate in the toughest conditions.
Custom-designed around its clientele and expedition-focused itineraries, the new ship will feature several of Coral Expeditions’ much-loved features:
  • Twin ‘Xplorer’ tenders mounted on hydraulic platforms that allow guests to embark and disembark for shore excursions without steps, queues or waiting
  • A natural light-filled lecture lounge equipped with modern technology for daily presentations and briefings by expedition experts
  • Facilities onboard to host scientific research missions and local exhibitors
  • Spacious communal areas, including a relaxed dining area which seats all guests
  • All outside-facing cabins with en-suite bathrooms; over half have private balconies
  • Open bridge policy and guest observation lounge overlooking the bridge
  • Multiple indoor and outdoor bars to see the world go by over a glass of Australian wine
The new ship will feature a modern Australian-designed interior with the colours and textures of tropical Queensland, the birthplace of the company. Accommodations will be restful havens for guests returning from shore excursions and range from outside staterooms of 17 sq m (183 sq ft) to suites of 43 sq m (463 sq ft) with outside-facing bathrooms. Active stabilisers will ensure guest comfort in varied conditions.
The ship will join the Coral Expeditions fleet exploring the Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land (The Top of Australia), Papua New Guinea, the Spice Islands, Indonesia and the South Pacific. She will be available for bookings in October 2017. More information will be released closer to the booking date.

The new ship order reflects continuing strong demand for the Coral Expeditions product – an intimate and destination-focused cruise experience that stands apart from mega-ship cruising.


 
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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Star Clippers Adds Full Season Sailing Out of St. Maarten to 2019 Schedule

 
Star Clippers' Star Flyer Sails Year Round From St. Maarten
Star Clippers' Star Flyer Sails Year Round From St. Maarten


Star Clippers’ fleet of tall ships sail to some of the globe’s most beautiful and far-flung locations, but the nearby Caribbean has always been one of the most popular with passengers as well as a favorite of the cruise line. So popular, in fact, that the company has announced the Star Flyer will spend the entire 2019-2020 season sailing out of St. Maarten, offering 13 departures between December 2019 and March 2020.
“Tourism plays a crucial role in the Caribbean’s economy, and we’re encourage by the reports that St. Maarten, as well as so many of the islands affected by last year’s hurricane season, are well on the road to recovery,” said Mirell Reyes, President of Star Clippers America. “We’ve planned a full season of sailing out of St. Maarten to show our support for the island’s economic recovery as well as to educate travelers that these islands are open and ready to receive visitors.”
Itineraries of 7, 11 and 14 nights out of St. Maarten will offer guests an array of experiences, all centered around the uniqueness of exploration aboard one of the world’s largest traditional clipper ships. For those eager to visit the Caribbean sooner, Star Clippers’ upcoming sailing season runs from December, 2018 through March 2019 and offers 37 departures ranging from seven to 14-nights. Two ships—Royal Clipper and Star Flyer—call on multiple islands that were affected in last year’s storms, including St. Maarten, Dominica, St. Kitts, Guadeloupe, St. Barts, BVI and Anguilla.
To entice travelers to see for themselves the remarkable recovery efforts in Caribbean, Star Clippers has several offers on upcoming Caribbean sailings. Those wishing to extend their Caribbean getaway before or after sailing can take advantage of complimentary two-night hotel stays plus breakfast and transfers in either Barbados or St. Maarten on select 2018 and 2019 departures. Guests booking select 11-night Montego Bay to Barbados and seven-night Windward and Grenadine Islands itineraries will receive two complimentary nights at the Accra Beach Hotel & Spa, a full service resort in Christchurch, Barbados. Guests booking select 14-night Panama and seven-night Treasure and Leeward Island sailings will receive a two-night stay at the charming Holland House beach hotel in downtown Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Solo travelers will love the waived single supplement offer on select Caribbean sailings on the Star Flyer or Royal Clipper between December 2018 and March 2019, with rates starting at $600 per person for a three-night treasure island sailing.
For more than 25 years, Star Clippers has been introducing travelers to the thrill of modern tall ship sailing to remote ports in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indonesia and Far East. The company operates three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels: Star Clipper and Star Flyer are traditional clipper ships with modern amenities carrying 170 guests, while the 227-guest Royal Clipper holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest and only five-masted, full-rigged sailing ship in service today. All three ships have expansive teak decks, swimming pools, informal dining, convivial tropical bars on deck and piano lounges.  The brand’s newest vessel, Flying Clipper, will debut in late 2018.

 
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Windstar Cruises Gives Travelers a Preview of the Brand’s Award-Winning Experience in New Video Campaign

 
Windstar Cruises Introduces New Promotional Video
Windstar Cruises Introduces New Promotional Video


Windstar Cruises criss-crosses the globe landing guests in the heart of world capitals, immersing them in the great cultures, leading them down roads less traveled and bringing them closer to authentic, unforgettable travel experiences than any other cruise line can. Wherever the small ships of Windstar Cruises go, the hallmarks of their 180º From Ordinary promise ensure superior guest experiences throughout each cruise. A new series of videos from the cruise line takes a look at the intimate ships, personalization, welcoming culture and exceptional culinary program from the crew’s perspective. With stunning visuals and unscripted soundbites from actual Windstar employees – including Corporate Executive Chef Graeme Cockburn and Destination Manager James Anderson Smith, among others – the videos demonstrate how Windstar is different from other cruise lines.
All the videos can be viewed at https://www.windstarcruises.com/beyond-the-expected/.
“Windstar is passionate about delivering a more rewarding, more authentic experience for world travelers,” said Windstar President John Delaney. “We believe that cultural exploration is best achieved on smaller ships that allow for greater access to local sites and more freedom to interact with the people who live there, as well as fellow passengers, setting us apart from typical cruise lines. Who better to communicate that story than our staff? These new videos reflect what Windstar is about, and our guests will be delighted to see some of their favorite crew members as the stars of that story.”
The new videos are windows into Windstar. They bring to life the real benefits of the brand’s core features, in the words of Windstar’s own staff, making it easier for travel agents and suppliers to be able to define and differentiate the Windstar experience. The videos are a pivotal new component to Windstar’s Star Promise – a multi-faceted program aimed at making an agent’s job of selling Windstar easier. As part of the promise, Windstar committed to providing fresh tools and sales support to agents, and now, Windstar has strong video assets with compelling and sharable content.
There is no more authentic way to explore the world than by small ship and to travel aboard the Windstar fleet is to feel what it is like to journey by private yacht. Windstar can go where others cannot, and navigate up rivers, to spectacular beaches and to the heart of great city ports.
Windstar has recently been ranked as #1 in the Midsize-Ocean Cruise Lines category of the 2018 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, honoring the top travel destinations and companies around the globe as rated by its readers, and been included on the 2018 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List. 

 
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Monday, August 20, 2018

Great Time Lapse Photography of the Construction of AIDA Cruises AIDAprima.



Here is a great time lapse photography video showing the construction of the  984 feet long AIDAprima at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki, Japan.

The 125,000 ton ship was delivered to AIDA Cruises in May 7, 2016 after a series of construction delays.

The video is a shows the benefit of modular ship building as many pieces of the ship are being built simultaneously and assembled in blocks.


 
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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Unveils Itineraries For Crystal Endeavor


Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Unveils Itineraries For Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises Unveils Itineraries For Crystal Endeavor


Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises unveiled the inaugural season of itineraries for its newest globetrotting vessel, Crystal Endeavor, spanning from August of 2020 through January 2021. Offering in-depth focus on some of the world’s most far-reaching and fascinating regions, the luxury expedition yacht will sail voyages of 12 to 22 days, far off the beaten path of traditional cruise routes. Voyages rich with discovery will explore the cultural and bio-diversity of Japan and the Russian Far East, New Zealand, Australia and Antarctica, with tropical wildlands also featured. Crystal Endeavor journeys will open for booking for Crystal Society guests on August 8, 2018 and to the public on August 22, 2018, with expedition and excursion details to be announced at a later date.

“Every facet of Crystal Endeavor is meant to take travelers beyond their previous travel boundaries and expectations. Her exceptional design, luxury accommodations and amenities have already set the stage for this, and now, as we unveil her first six months of journeys, travelers have a tremendous glimpse of the grand discoveries in store for this groundbreaking yacht,” said Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber. “Crystal Endeavor will take guests to remote destinations not typically accessible on a cruise, as well as some iconic places, albeit with a decidedly adventurous twist.”

The locales visited will offer distinctive experiences, climate and terrain that are suited perfectly for the boldest travelers, with opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, helicopter and Zodiac tours, and much more depending on the region.

In addition to Antarctic exploration, Crystal Endeavor will follow seasonal shifts to warmer destinations, where sun-seeking guests can relish waterborne and nature quests. Crystal Endeavor’s initial roster of itineraries includes 12 unique voyages with fares starting from $12,749 per guest (based on double occupancy, excluding port taxes and fees). Guests on the maiden voyage will also receive a complimentary one-night pre-cruise luxury hotel stay and have the opportunity to participate in the yacht’s naming event.



 
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Azamara Journey Meets Sister Ship Azamara Pursuit in Haugesund, Norway

 
Azamara Club Cruises Azamara Journey & Azamara Pursuit off of Haugesund, Norway
Azamara Club Cruises Azamara Journey & Azamara Pursuit off of Haugesund, Norway


August 6, 2018, Azamara Club Cruises celebrated a rare occurrence as two of its three vessels, Azamara Pursuit – currently on its maiden voyage – and Azamara Journey – welcoming new officers – met in Haugesund, Norway. The meeting was celebrated with a variety of activities including an on-shore gathering, which brought the guests and crew from each ship together, as well as a sail away party featuring Norwegian cuisine, cocktails and entertainment.

“Azamara Pursuit, joining its highly award-winning sister, Azamara Journey, marks a new era for the Azamara brand,” said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “To celebrate the special meeting of the two ships, we could not think of a better way to welcome the new ship and team members than with a celebration that brings together our crew and guests. We are thrilled to do this in Norway – one of Azamara’s most popular destinations.”

Exploring the Destination   
As part of its land programing, enabling guests to explore deeper into Haugsesund, Azamara offered guests from both ships an exclusive tour of Kyvik Herring Factory, led by the executive chefs onboard Azamara Pursuit and Azamara Journey. During the tour, travelers met the local producers who are committed to keeping Norway’s vibrant Herring fishing tradition alive and learned the process of salting, seasoning, and preserving the fish for use in classic cuisine.

On-Shore Party
To give guests the opportunity to celebrate with crew from both ships, Azamara and the port of Haugesund hosted a party on the pier upon arrival and as guests were returning from their day exploring. The event featured a display of authentic Norwegian customs with a flag parade led by local children dressed in Bunad, traditional Norwegian folk costumes that are worn for special events. The event also included the opportunity for guests to join the plaque ceremony between both captains, the Haugesund Mayor and the port officials. 

Sail Away Party
The celebration continued on-board the vessels with a party showcasing Azamara’s commitment to Destination Immersion. As the ships departed from port, both blew their horns in unison as guests and crew waved goodbye. They also toasted the sister ships meeting with a cocktail mixed with Linie Akvavit – a signature liquor of Norway – all to the sounds of “We Are Family.” The evening concluded with Azamara’s white night-inspired sail away party with a special Scandinavian twist.

Exploring Azamara Pursuit and Azamara Journey    
Guests and crew had the opportunity to tour each ship upon arrival in port. They were guided through the various spaces of the ship including the restaurants, pool deck, fitness center, and more. 

About the Destination and Voyages
The port town of Haugesund is considered one of the country’s principal cultural centers and known as the birthplace of Norway. The lands around Haugesund were lands of power during the Viking Age, and the first king of Norway lived very near by the present city center. Azamara Journey is sailing the 15-Night Journey to North Cape and Azamara Pursuit is sailing the 12-Night Norway Intensive Voyage with eight stops in Scandinavian country. 


 
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