(PRESS RELEASE)_Seattle, Wash., June 30, 2022 — With pent up demand and the U.S. Independence Day travel rush approaching, premium cruise line Holland America Line is reporting a surge in cruise interest for Alaska, experiencing the highest booking levels for Alaska cruises during the month of June since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People are excited to travel again while reconnecting with family and friends in a meaningful way,” said Beth Bodensteiner, senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Holland America Line. “We’re seeing the pent-up demand leading to increased booking as guests realize cruising is a hassle-free way to enjoy unique destinations such as Alaska.”
(ROYAL CARIBBEAN)_Where Southern comfort food meets Royal Caribbean International’s hospitality and creativity, The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar on board the new Wonder of the Seas is the latest restaurant to join the cruise line’s wide and global array of dining experiences. Families and travelers alike can enjoy Southern staples and new twists on classics for brunch, dinner and late at night in Meemaw’s “home,” a porch-like, warm setting with end-to-end ocean views, a dedicated bar, farmhouse-style decor and live country music. Whether it’s Meemaw’s Southern fried chicken or shrimp and grits, complemented by one of 19 American whiskeys or new cocktails like the PB&J old fashioned, The Mason Jar is a hotspot perfect for memory-making day and night.
Photos/Video by Gerry Barker
By Gerry Barker
DORAL_When Windstar Cruises, who operate a fleet of small, luxury cruise ships, decided to move their company headquarters from Seattle to Florida, they took great pains to find the perfect location.
"We looked at 30 different properties," said Windstar President Christopher Prelog, "but from the first moment I walked through the doors and looked at the space -- yes, that's it." Prelog was referring to their new headquarters here on the fifth floor of Doral Concourse, where Windstar hosted a grand opening on Wednesday, June 29.
Why the move from Seattle? "Miami is the true center of the cruise universe," Prelog told attendees, and to borrow from the company motto, "180 degrees from ordinary. So it made sense to move us 3,297 miles." He also pointed out the abundance of light and openness reflects what they do on their ships, where there's frequent interaction between guests and crew. Windstar employs close to 150 people in total, with 50 stationed here.
A key element that was showcased at the grand opening is the partnership between Windstar and Fountainhead, a Miami-based program founded in 2008 to spotlight and promote local art and artists. Working with Fountainhead, the work of local artists will be featured both in their headquarters and onboard their Star-class ships.
Kathryn Mikesell, co-founder and executive director of Fountainhead, joined Prelog to introduce the artists and their work. "It is such an honor to work with the Windstar team," said Ms. Mikesell. "We felt like we were all part of a family."
"I'm very proud to have Kathryn and Fountainhead supporting young artists and giving them a stage," said Prelog. "It's a perfect fit for Windstar."
Later, Prelog told me art is an important part of the Windstar commitment to build local ties, similar to how their ships interact with locations around the world through culinary and tour experiences. He also said since the three Star-class ships have the space, they'll be refreshing the art on them every two years.
One of the works in the office that occupies a whole wall is "Die Form," a permanent installation by TYPOE, a Miami-based, mixed media artist. Prelog said they wanted something that would invite conversation, and not just hang another TV.
Later this year, Prelog said Windstar will celebrate another milestone event in October -- 35 years of cruising to Tahiti. "That's something very, very special," he said, adding, "Tahiti is a core product fo us." Although he can't export its unparalleled beauty, we did get a taste of it as a trio of Tahitian dancers entertained at the opening.
Looking ahead, Prelog said Windstar will be going to Australia and New Zealand for the first time later this year, and next year, will add sailings to the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.
In the meantime, Prelog said they'll continue to make their new office reflect life on the ships as much as possible, such as importing the same coffee served to their guests. Just one more reason for workers to be happy about the 3,000-plus mile relocation.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Miami, FL, June 29, 2022 - SeaDream Yacht Club has just opened 4th Quarter 2024 Caribbean voyages. At just 344 ft., newly renovated luxury yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II are ideal for island hopping in the Caribbean. Providing bespoke experiences across 28 unique islands, highlights of the season include SeaDream’s complimentary watersports, and their signature Champagne & Caviar Splash™; an elevated beach BBQ complete with caviar served in the surf.
In early November 2024, SeaDream Yacht Club begins its Caribbean season featuring departures from Antigua, Barbados, San Juan, St. Martin, and St. Thomas. Itineraries are designed to showcase the best of the Caribbean with cultural experiences and immersive excursions. Expanding upon its ever-popular calls in the British Virgin Islands and the Grenadines, SeaDream adds new calls to Barbuda, and Boquerón, Puerto Rico; becoming the first commercial vessel to call there.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Carnival Celebration will offer a long list of highly anticipated features taking cruise vacations to the next level, from her BOLT rollercoaster to her unique new zones and dining venues, and now guests have two more reasons to be excited about the next new ship from Carnival Cruise Line: Lee Mason as Carnival Celebration’s cruise director and Calvyn Martens as the ship’s entertainment director.
Mason and Martens are both popular with Carnival guests and bring a combined quarter-century of Carnival fun and experience to lead the team responsible for the cruise line’s quintessential atmosphere, activities and entertainment aboard its new ship.
“Not only will Carnival Celebration arrive as the ship marking our 50th birthday, but it will build upon the stellar entertainment offerings which our guests have already come to love since the debut of Mardi Gras. Lee and Calvyn are the perfect team to take on this responsibility and help our guests make great memories while having lots of fun,” said Chris Nelson, Carnival’s vice president of entertainment.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Geneva, Switzerland – June 28, 2022 – MSC Cruises’ upcoming MSC World Europa will offer more space and activities for families than ever before. The cruise line revealed plans today for entertaining all ages onboard its most innovative, environmentally advanced, and exciting new flagship to date, which is set to enter service in December 2022.
As a family-owned company, MSC Cruises is known for its award-winning family offerings, delivering an unforgettable cruise experience for kids of all ages and their families. MSC World Europa is set to take those offerings to the next level with an incredible list of new features.
Matteo Mancini, Kids’ Entertainment Manager, said: “We have invested heavily in the entertainment offerings for our younger guests, and we know they value the latest technology, trends and experiences. We have worked to introduce real innovations in both the design of the facilities as well as the development of an incredible program of activities, all carefully planned to ensure that the differing needs of all age groups are met – from our youngest guests to teenagers. More than 350,000 young people have travelled with us over the years, and we have listened to their feedback. MSC World Europa reflects these learnings and we have been inspired to create experiences that blend technology and social media with activity and sport to create fresh and new entertainment for the kids who sail with us."
MSC World Europa will feature the largest, most action-packed kids’ area in MSC Cruises’ fleet, spanning 8,245 square feet and offering seven distinct spaces dedicated to age groups spanning 0 to 17 years old.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Starting today, guests sailing on any Carnival Cruise Line ship can enjoy a new Funderstruck Nacho Burger created by chef, restaurateur and Carnival partner Guy Fieri.
Available only at Guy’s Burger Joints across the Carnival fleet for a limited time, the Funderstruck Nacho Burger is comprised of a toasted brioche bun, the chef’s famed 80/20 burger patty, donkey sauce and super melty cheese, and stacked with nacho seasoning, borracho beans, crispy corn tortilla strips, fried jalapenos and fresh pico de gallo. To watch Fieri put together the special burger, click here.
Fieri also introduced Fully Loaded Fundertots, which are now available for a limited time at Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse aboard Carnival Horizon, Carnival Panorama and Mardi Gras. A video of Fieri putting the Fundertots together can be viewed here.
Other popular menu items at Guy’s Burger Joint include The Plain Jane, The Straight Up, The Pig Patty, The Ringer, and The Chilius Maximus. And at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse, guests can enjoy a full-blown smokehouse experience, from music and beers brewed on board to the most real-deal barbequed brisket, pulled pork and more, all smoked on board.
For additional information on Carnival Cruise Line and to book a cruise vacation, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, visit www.carnival.com, or contact your favorite travel advisor or online travel site.
(PRESS RELEASE)_CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 24, 2022) – Disney Cruise Line announced today that all Make-A-Wish® children, including past, present and future wish recipients, will be honored as godchildren of the Disney Wish, which sets sail this summer from Port Canaveral, Florida. Disney Cruise Line also continues to support the transformative work that wish-granting organizations do every day through newly announced initiatives which include an exclusive merchandise collection and the donation of a stateroom aboard a sailing of the Disney Wish.
Redefining the longstanding maritime tradition of appointing a ship “godmother,” this is the first time in Disney Cruise Line history that children are being recognized in this prestigious role which symbolically bestows good fortune on the vessel and its travelers.
(PRESS RELEASE)_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 23, 2022) – With the start of summer, scooping up one of Italy’s most famous desserts from Gelato onboard Discovery Princess, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess just got a little sweeter. The Princess Cruises gelato shops have been designated as Ospitalità Italiana, and are the first and only locations to offer an authentic Italian gelato experience outside of Italy.
The prestigious Ospitalità Italiana designation is issued by the Italian Chamber of Commerce committee, an organization of the Italian government, and confirms that every step of the gelato-making process meets or exceeds a strict set of standards as approved by official Italian auditors and experts, who review the process on a yearly basis. Only gelato shops that attain outstanding quality status are awarded the official Ospitalità Italiana certification.
(PRESS RELEASE)_PONANT is collaborating with Smithsonian Journeys on a series of co-branded sailings for 2023. Each of the 21 itineraries will be led by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts—whether an art historian, a solar astrophysicist, or an international relations expert—whose expertise and knowledge will shed new light on a destination and deepen travelers’ immersion in place.
Among the new sailings is a 12-day polar expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, February 20-March 3, 2023. Experts include Michelle Thaller, Assistant Director for Science Communication at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; and Peter Bobrowsky, a geologist and archaeologist with over four decades of experience of fieldwork in locations across the globe, including World Heritage sites such as Machu Picchu and Petra. This expedition’s ship is Le Lyrial, one of PONANT’s intimately-sized cruise ships, with just 122 staterooms and suites.
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