MIAMI (Aug. 16, 2017) – Following strong response to its first-ever cruises to Cuba announced earlier this year, Carnival Cruise Line has added five more voyages featuring extended calls in Havana in 2018.
The new voyages include three five-day cruises to Havana and Cozumel or Key West departing Feb. 17, July 2 and Sept. 5, 2018; a six-day sailing featuring Havana and Grand Cayman departing Aug. 26, 2018; and an eight-day voyage with stops at Havana, Grand Cayman and Cozumel departing Aug. 18, 2018.
All of the voyages include a day-long call and overnight in Havana with the eight-day cruise of Aug. 18, 2018, offering two full days at the historic Cuban capital.
“Our cruises to Cuba have been very well received and we’re delighted to provide our guests with additional opportunities to experience and explore this fascinating and sought-after destination,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
Earlier this year, Carnival announced a series of four- and five-day voyages to Havana that kicked off in late June. Upcoming voyages in the initial program include four-day cruises departing Aug. 24, Sept. 7 and 21, and Oct. 5 and 19, 2017 as well as May 3, 2018 and five-day voyages departing Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 9, 2017.
Carnival Paradise guests can select from nearly 20 different shore excursion experiences that showcase Cuba’s vibrant culture, majestic beauty and centuries-old architectural landmarks.
Aboard Carnival Paradise, guests enjoy an array of amenities and a full schedule of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment, including newly added Cuban-themed entertainment and activities. Dining options include two full-service main dining rooms and expansive poolside eatery with a 24-hour pizzeria.
The ship also features a 12,000-square-foot Spa Carnival health and wellness facility and an exclusive Serenity adults-only retreat. Family-friendly programming includes Seuss at Sea in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises as well as fun, supervised activities for kids in three age groups. Four swimming pools and a 115-foot-long cascading water slide are also featured.
The visits to Havana comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control.
(Press Release)_MIAMI, August 15, 2017 – Excitement was in the air today at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, as Royal Caribbean International marked the official start of construction by cutting the first piece of steel for its new Quantum Ultra ship. The next engineering marvel in the innovative cruise line’s lineup will officially be named Spectrum of the Seas.
Set to debut in 2019, Spectrum will be the next evolution of the cruise line’s groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum class of ships placing the ship in a new class of her own. The revolutionary Quantum Ultra ship will specifically be designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and will feature cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities.
“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas. We are now one step closer to delighting our guests in Asia Pacific with this remarkable ship,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Spectrum will be another giant leap forward in vessel design and guest experiences that will provide travelers with ample opportunities to create unforgettable memories.”
(Press Release)_MIAMI (August 10, 2017) – Today Azamara Club Cruises® announced new 2018 and 2019 Cuban itineraries that range from four to fourteen nights and visit some of the most diverse Cuban ports like Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, providing a variety of getaway options for a range of travel needs. With longer stays in port, new onboard Cuban-themed programming and two overnights in Havana, travelers have a fresh opportunity to enjoy the vibrant and culturally enriching country, brought to you by Azamara. Starting in 2018, guests can also expect an AzAmazing Evenings® event on select sailings; a bespoke, exclusive and private event only for Azamara guests that lets guests experience the local culture like never before.
“Following the incredible popularity and high demand for our Cuba voyages, we knew we wanted to provide travelers more opportunities to explore this alluring country at night,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “We’re fully committed to exceptional on-shore exploration through our longer stays in port. With more overnights and night tour programming, it makes sense that we would be one of the few ships to offer three full days in Havana. We look forward to bringing more magic of the Cuban culture to our new and loyal guests.”
Three New Cruise Global, Nights Local Shore Excursions
As part of Azamara’s commitment to Destination Immersion®, Cruise Global, Connect Local will introduce guests to the culture and people of Cuba in the most authentic way. From locally inspired small-group excursions by day and night to the signature AzAmazing Evening in Cuba, there are new night experiences, including:
Cabaret Parisien, Havana: Visit the Nacional Hotel de Cuba and marvel at the cabaret show “Cuban, Cuban,” a true sensation based entirely on island culture. This colorful performance features stunning costumes, lively music and captivating dance moves reflecting Indo-American, Hispanic and African influences. Before the performance, wander the lovely hotel gardens and gaze out at the sparkling nighttime views of the Havana Malecón.
Jewish Heritage Tour, Havana: Embrace Cuba’s rich Jewish heritage with a guided tour that takes you through the streets of Old Havana’s Jewish Quarter. With plenty of local encounters to hear firsthand stories about the Jewish community, the tour includes a visit to the spectacular Hotel Raquel, a breathtaking example of Havana’s Jewish influence, and to a local synagogue for an authentic look at how locals worship. Pay moving visits to a historic Jewish cemetery and Havana’s Holocaust Museum, a solemn reminder of World War II, curated by the local community.
Additionally, a number of experiences are being developed throughout Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba to give Azamara guests immersive and localized experiences outside of Havana including:
Santiago de Cuba: Guests will explore a variety of well-known and off-the-beaten track historical sites including the Colonial Historic Center and San Juan Hill, where an instrumental battle in the Spanish – Cuban – American war occurred. Then travel to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where notable Cuban national hero and literary import Jose Marti is laid to rest.
Cienfuegos: After starting their tour in Cienfuegos, guests will travel to Trinidad, where they can explore the colonial old town and quaint cobblestone streets. A stop at Potter’s House gives guests the chance to discover the artwork of Cuban craftsmen and learn about their technique passed down through generations. Guests will round out their visit to Cienfuegos to view a performance at the Teatro Tomas Terry followed by shopping the Santa Isabel Boulevard.
A Taste of Cuba Onboard
After spending time on shore exploring the local sights, travelers can experience Cuban culture onboard their boutique hotel at sea. Enjoy the unique destination-focused programming to treat all the senses that only Azamara delivers.
(Press Release)_Loggerhead Marinelife Center is again partnering with The Gardens Mall to offer ocean lovers a fun, interactive afternoon at Marinelife Day 2017: The Art and Science of Marine Pollution on Saturday, Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The free event, which takes place in the mall’s Grand Court, will feature interactive children's labs, exhibits and activities that highlight Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s sea turtle and ocean conservation efforts, including Fun with Fletch (LMC’s mascot) Vet for a Day, Conservation Corner and much more.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center will announce science fair, art contest and Third Annual Juno Beach Pier Photo Contest winners. Guests will also enjoy a luxury raffle featuring donations from The Gardens Mall.
For those needing an excuse to shop, The Gardens Mall will donate five percent of the day’s total logged shopping receipts from any store to Loggerhead Marinelife Center. All guests have to do is mention LMC when they show receipts at the Information Desk. Additional donations will be made from the following retail partners:
Athleta (10 a.m.-5 p.m.; five percent of sales)
Bloomingdale’s (All day; 10 percent of sales) (ask for copy of receipt to deposit in donation box)
Brio Tuscan Grille (Lunch; 10 percent of sales)
Brooks Brothers (11 a.m.-4 p.m.; 10 percent of sales, plus 15 percent discount for customers)
Bunulu (All day; 20 percent of sales)
California Pizza Kitchen (All day; 20 percent of sales) (mention LMC to service staff)
J.McLaughlin (10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 15 percent of sales)
Jimmy Choo (10 a.m.-2 p.m.; 10 percent of sales)
Kendra Scott (11 a.m.-2 p.m.; 20 percent of sales)
Lilly Pulitzer (All day; 10 percent of sales)
Madewell (All day, five percent of sales)
Sam Edelman (All day; 10 percent of sales)
Tommy Bahama (11 a.m.-4 p.m.; 10 percent of sales)
Tory Burch (All day; 10 percent of sales)
LMC would like to thank The Gardens Mall, PNC Bank, PurePoint Financial and Loggerhead Marina for sponsoring Marinelife Day. For more information, visit www.thegardensmall.com/events/loggerhead-marinelife-day.
(Press Release)_MIAMI, FL August 3, 2017 – Today, Azamara Club Cruises, the boutique cruise line known for its premier destination-immersive voyages, announces an enriching new inclusive pre-and-post Land and Sea program in Europe. In partnership with the renowned Venice-Simplon Orient-Express train, this program takes guests deeper into European locales and allows travelers to stay longer and experience even more on land with a unique vantage point.
The iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express travels between London and Venice offering travelers packages designed to extend an Azamara vacation with even more cultural discovery in additional ports. Travelers can relive the golden-era age of travel through the original 1920s vintage carriages, gourmet cuisine and spectacular scenery.
“This slower form of travel is exactly what Azamara celebrates with our Destination Immersion® programming where we look to give travelers more time and new ways to fall in love with destinations,” said Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Through this extension of our Land and Sea Offerings our guests will now get to experience the unbridled luxury of train travel and visit even more destinations and ports in Europe in the most authentic and immersive way.”
Azamara and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will provide guests the distinct opportunity to combine train, hotel and cruise travel in a personalized way. Guests are invited to indulge in:
· Timeless Authenticity: The luxurious private cabins on board the 1920s carriages provide inspiring back stories and history; Sleeping Car 3425 is famously associated with King Carol, who escaped Romania with his mistress aboard the train in 1940. Stunning vintage details such as Rene Prou designs and Rene Lalique glass panels make each carriage feel like a time capsule giving travelers the chance to relive history.
· Gourmet Cuisine: The train line’s Executive Chef Christian Bodiguel has spent the last 33 years creating culinary masterpieces and prepares 3-course lunches and 4-course dinners of classic French dishes. Menus change seasonally and everything is cooked fresh on board, with Chef Bodiguel selecting local ingredients from the destinations the train visits.
· Spectacular Scenery: Europe’s most stunning scenery can be viewed through two different routes spanning the Gotthard Route and the Alberg Route boasting the incredible views of the Swiss Lakes as well as the dramatic Dolomites. Both routes offer breath taking mountain views, crystal clear lakes and quant towns and vineyards tucked into the mountainside.
Exploring by train compliments the cruise experience offering a truly unique vantage point to take in Europe’s most famous and romanticized scenery which can be viewed along the journey between London and Venice. Additional route highlights include:
· London to Venice Pre-Voyage: Guests will depart London’s Victoria Station aboard the Belmond British Pullman, sister train of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, for the journey to Folkestone. Enjoy a Bellini brunch and silver service as the train passes through the lush Kentish countryside, before transferring across the Channel on the Eurotunnel. Once aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Calais, a delicious four-course dinner is prepared by skilled French chefs and served in one of the three restaurant cars. Head to the Bar Car ‘3674’ for a nightcap before retiring to your cabin for your overnight stay. Continental breakfast is served in your cabin, followed by lunch in the restaurant car. Relax over afternoon tea as the train makes its way to Venice and then depart the train for an overnight in Venice including luxury accommodations at the Hotel Monaco in the heart of the charming city.
· Venice to London Post-Voyage: After a relaxing evening spent at the Hotel Monaco guests board the gleaming carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express where they wave goodbye to Venice over a three-course lunch. Afternoon Tea is served in your cabin before guests mingle with fellow passengers in the Bar Car ‘3674’, followed by a dinner in one of the three beautifully unique restaurant cars. Linger over continental breakfast served in your cabin the following morning, followed by a delicious lunch en route to Calais where you will transfer for the Eurotunnel crossing. On the other side, board the Belmond British Pullman, sister train to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, which takes guests from Folkestone to London Victoria Station, with afternoon tea served on the way accompanied by a glass of English Sparkling Wine.
(Press Release)_MIAMI (August 3, 2017) - Multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated recording artist and award-winning songwriter Nick Jonas is the latest addition to the popular Carnival LIVE Concert Series, performing aboard Carnival Victory and Carnival Liberty this fall while the ships are docked in Nassau.
Carnival LIVE is a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience that brings the best in live music and comedy to the seas, providing guests an opportunity to enjoy captivating performances by top artists at an incredible value. Performances are held in the ships’ main show lounges – which range in capacity from 900 to 1,300 – meaning there’s never a bad seat in the house.
A recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame's prestigious Hal David Starlight Award, Jonas will have guests singing and dancing in the aisles with two high energy shipboard concerts – one aboard Carnival Liberty on November 17 and the other aboard on Carnival Victory November 18.
“This will be my first time performing on a cruise ship, which I’m really excited about because it’s so different than any other venue. I’m looking forward to seeing and performing for my fans that will be there.”
Carnival LIVE tickets for Nick Jonas are $75 for general admission, significantly less than land-based venues. VIP tickets are available for $250 and include seating in the first few rows, a photo opportunity with the artist and a commemorative concert pass.
Additional Carnival LIVE acts are expected to be announced in the coming months.
A full listing of all Carnival LIVE performances is available at www.carnival.com/CarnivalLIVE.
(Press Release)_Research biologists from the Research Laboratory at Loggerhead Marinelife Center recently published a scientific study on how contaminants such as mercury and natural toxins from red tide algal blooms affect sea turtles’ health.
In 2014, Dr. Justin Perrault, the Center’s associate director of research, began studying the toxins’ effects on Kemp’s ridley and green sea turtles in Big Bend, Florida. Although very few studies on the toxins' effects on sea turtles have been conducted, it’s more common to see algal blooms in that area, making it a prime spot to research the toxins.
During the study, LMC’s research biologists and colleagues from other laboratories collected blood samples and examined otherwise healthy turtles to see if they showed signs of fibropapillomatosis (FP), a tumor disease that affects green sea turtles. Then, they examined health parameters in plasma, and found that brevetoxins from red tide potentially contributed to inflammation, increased tumor growth and decreased body condition in Kemp’s ridleys and greens.
“These contaminants can potentially impact disease development and negatively impact the immune function and survival of these endangered marine turtles,” said Dr. Perrault. “We hope to continue learning about how these toxins affect sea turtles in an effort to better understand treatment options for animals that strand as a result of red tide.”
This is the first study to reveal that brevetoxin exposure may promote FP tumor growth in green sea turtles.
The peer-reviewed paper is published in the Science of the Total Environment journal and can be accessed over the next 50 days for free. For more information visit authors.elsevier.com.
For more information on LMC’s research projects, visit marinelife.org/research.
(Press Release)_MIAMI – July 20, 2017 – MiamiCentral, the expansive downtown development featuring Central Fare, the city’s first food hall experience, innovative retail shops, 800+ Park-Line rental residences, uniquely connected urban offices and a major transit hub providing both local and multi-city transit options, announced today the additions of Einstein Bros. Bagels and Starbucks to its lifestyle retail promenade.
Serving the downtown community, the licensed locations are a collaboration of celebrated Miami Heat basketball star and community leader Udonis Haslem and Managing Partner Ramona D. Hall, through their company JFC Miami, a dynamic South Florida food and beverage operator.
“We are delighted to have JFC Miami join MiamiCentral with Udonis Haslem and Ramona D. Hall as a part of our team,” shares Daniel Quintana, vice president of development for Florida East Coast Industries. “MiamiCentral is the new epicenter of Miami, home to Brightline and leading companies Ernst & Young and Cisneros, Miami’s first true food hall experience, Central Fare, and at the crossroads of Metromover, Metrorail and the future Tri-Rail expansion into downtown.”
JFC Miami’s soon-to-open Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels in MiamiCentral add to Haslem’s ever-expanding culinary portfolio that is helping to shape the future of South Florida’s economic community.
JFC Miami aims to hire local job seekers and young adults from low-income households to provide them with the means necessary to support their families, a mission Haslem and partner Hall are equally passionate about. A proven leader in South Florida’s business and political community for the past 20 years, Hall’s past experience with regional and national brand management proved instrumental in securing JFC Miami’s new MiamiCentral operations. JFC Miami was awarded 2017 Franchise/Licensee Company of the year by Black Enterprise, the premier business, investing and wealth-building resource for African Americans.
Royal Caribbean’s new Innovation Lab takes the ship design process to new heights by bringing the best creative minds and the latest technology together under one roof. From engaging virtual reality rooms to collaborative work spaces, the cruise line’s new facility in Miami helps accelerate innovation and gives experts the ability to tangibly play and push the envelope before construction even begins.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"