By GERRY BARKER
North Palm Beach Life
Published August 29, 2019.
I've had the pleasure of working with Jackie Chase, Cunard's North American Director of Public Relations, since I started writing about cruising. She is the consummate professional at what she does. Meet Jackie, and learn more her, her job and Cunard's storied history in this Q&A.
Q. How long have you been with Cunard and what attracted you to the opportunity?
A. I began my career in Public Relations in 1999, when I joined a boutique PR and Marketing agency in Los Angeles which specialized in hospitality clients, such as hotels, restaurants and destinations.
After five years there, I was ready to spread my wings and was keenly interested in joining a larger corporate culture. When I learned of the Cunard opportunity I jumped at it! Not only did the new position afford me a new learning in the hospitality industry – cruising – it also very organically resonated with my own interests and passions, being an Anglophile most of my life!
I accepted my current position with Cunard in 2004 and am excited to celebrate nearly 15 years with the company.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Geneva, Switzerland, August 27, 2019 - MSC Grandiosa, the newest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet set to launch in November, will host the world’s first fine art experience on board a cruise ship. The immersive art and dining experience featuring “Degas Danse Dessin” aims to bring guests closer to the world of fine art with a spellbinding exhibition of original Impressionist art.
Housed in a purpose-built installation within the chic L’Atelier Bistro at the heart of the ship’s Mediterranean-style Promenade, the Edgar Degas exhibition is the first curation of this unique collection on board a cruise ship. The Danse Dessin series presents 26 studies of movement and dance and was previously exhibited in major international galleries and museums. Degas’ work encapsulates the soul of a romantic Paris, truly fitting within the setting of the new French Bistro on board MSC Grandiosa. It will also offer an immersive experience for guests with five videos running alongside the artwork detailing details of Degas’ work and life.
With each new ship that MSC Cruises launches, the Company aims to elevate the guest experience with new and unique elements that cannot be experienced anywhere else at sea. This new offering brings together the world of fine art and technology to create a one-of-a-kind entertainment offering exclusively for guests, bringing them closer to the world of art.
The introduction and presentation of the renowned works is part of a collaboration between MSC Cruises and THE AIMES, experts in creating multi-sensory, interactive experiences, employing innovative technology to engage people with art and culture. The exhibition has been curated by art historian, critic and member of exhibition producers THE AIMES, Marcello Smarrelli.
Marcello Smarrelli, exhibition curator commented: "Despite his apparently romantic subjects, Degas was a great experimenter, deeply interested in the use of new technologies available in those years of great scientific and industrial renewal. The focus of his artistic research was the study of the movement of the human body and the attempt to reproduce it in an artwork. For this reason, his artistic practice was fundamental for the birth of photography and cinema of which Degas was a pioneer. I'm sure he would have loved this interactive art exhibition, the first of its kind at sea and it is an exciting opportunity to connect people with Degas’ artwork in a new way and bring it to life through digital content for MSC Cruises guests.”
MSC Grandiosa will become the new flagship in the MSC Cruises fleet when she launches in November and the state-of-the-art ship will offer a richness of experiences for every guest from world-class entertainment with brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, a wide choice of international dining options, new activities for families through to an enhanced MSC Yacht Club.
MSC Grandiosa will become the second MSC Cruises ship to feature ZOE, the world’s first virtual cruise personal assistant and new update to the innovative MSC for Me digital innovation program, helping guests to get the most out of their cruise vacation.
For more information on MSC Grandiosa visit https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Discover-MSC/Cruise-Ships/MSC-Grandiosa.aspx
For further media information on MSC Cruises visit www.mscpressarea.com
(PRESS RELEASE)_NEW ALBANY, IN, August 26, 2019 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a leader in U.S. river cruising, invites guests to experience the rich history and cultural diversity of the old South during the fall season on its American Queen and American Duchess riverboats. From carefree New Orleans to vibrant Memphis, the lower stretch of the Mississippi is the river of legends where guests can experience centuries-old shaded oak trees, elegant antebellum plantations, picturesque cobblestone streets and Victorian mansions.
Now through August 31, 2019, guests can save up to $1,000 per stateroom on select 2019 voyages. Terms and conditions apply, learn more here: AmericanQueenSteamboatCompany.com.
“From the perspective of a riverboat, an autumn trip is filled with unmatched views of the shorelines and crisp southern breezes as guests journey through living history,” shares John Waggoner, chairman and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “We could not be more excited to share these one-of-a-kind experiences this time of year.”
The history of the Lower Mississippi River comes to life in pristinely preserved river towns such as New Orleans, Oak Alley, Nottoway, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville, Memphis and more. The scenery remains enchanting and largely unspoiled. Mark Twain's life on the Mississippi describes this area as a paradise, with hidden gems around each bend of the river, fueling a sense of discovery as America's heartland unfolds on these voyages.
Please see below for a selection of fall 2019 voyages onboard the American Queen and American Duchess.
Jewels of the Lower Mississippi – Memphis to New Orleans (American Queen – September 29-October 7, October 13-21 and November 10-18/American Duchess – September 22-30, October 6-14, October 20-28, November 3-11 and November 17-25):
Showcasing the diversity and drama of the Lower Mississippi River, this journey allows guests to explore the land of bawdy blues and Southern belles. History is everywhere – in silent Civil War cemeteries and throughout the lively city of Memphis, which is best known for blues, barbeque and the King of Rock and Roll’s home at Graceland. Ports of call include Helena (American Duchess only), Vicksburg, Natchez, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville and Nottoway Plantation (an AQSC exclusive port) in White Castle.
A Taste of the True South – New Orleans to Memphis (American Queen – September 22-30, October 6-14, October 20-28 and November 17-25/American Duchess – September 29-October 7, October 13-21, October 27-November 4 and November 10-18):
Memory flows deep and sentiment swirls along the Lower Mississippi River where guests can experience authentic Southern culture as they journey through living history and soak in the spirit of the antebellum South. Ports of call include Nottoway Plantation (an AQSC exclusive port) in White Castle, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg and Greenville/Tunica.
American Queen Steamboat Company offers the most inclusive river cruise experiences in North America. Fares on Lower Mississippi River voyages begin at $2,999 per person. All sailings include a one-night, pre-voyage hotel stay, hop-on hop-off shore excursions in all ports, wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities.
For additional information and reservations, please contact American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit AmericanQueenSteamboatCompany.com or call a professional travel agent.
(PRESS RELEASE)_ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 25, 2019) – At the D23 Expo today, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek revealed the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, as well as a first look at the ship’s elegant, three-story atrium and the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern. Chapek and Imagineer Joe Rohde also shared new details about plans for a second island destination for Disney Cruise Line in The Bahamas.
With a little help from Tinker Bell, Disney fans were the first to hear that Disney Wish will be the name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship. The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and is expected to set sail beginning in January 2022.
“There couldn’t be a better name for our incredible new ship because making wishes come true is part of the Disney DNA and is at the heart of so many of our cherished stories,” Chapek said.
A new rendering provided D23 attendees with a first look at the ship’s bright and airy three-story atrium, inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.
Stern characters – a beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels – have been a tradition of the Disney fleet since the beginning and reflect the theme of each ship. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.
“Each Disney Cruise Line ship is unique, with a name that embodies the excitement of sailing with Disney and the power of our stories. The new ships will have the experiences our guests love, as well as all-new magic,” Chapek added.
The three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
(PRESS RELEASE)_With the launch of its first luxury expedition ship less than one year away, Crystal Expedition Cruises has released a new comprehensive planning guide for Crystal Endeavor’s 2020-2021 seasons. Readers are immediately drawn into the intrepid world of expedition with vibrant photography of destinations and renderings of the German-built, PC6-designated yacht, followed by a detailed map of the hundreds of locales featured in her first two seasons. Ten full pages are dedicated to the onboard experience Crystal Endeavor will offer, including renderings of open-air public areas, fitness center, butler-serviced guest suites and elegant dining venues.
The brochure also goes into inspiring detail of the global adventures set to take guests far off the beaten path. Comprising day-by-day itinerary info and abundant destination photography and highlights, the 65-page brochure offers travelers not only practical details for planning extraordinary vacations to some of the world’s most remote locales, but also insights into the kinds of experiences and sights in store. Descriptions of Crystal Endeavor’s focused itineraries – Remote Expedition, Destination Exploration, and Cultural Discovery – are included, allowing readers to explore the brochure in the personalized way they can explore the world with Crystal.
Inset boxes throughout the brochure highlight select destinations in greater detail, illustrative deck plans of Crystal Endeavor’s luxurious spaces and private marina are also laid out to entice travelers aboard. The Crystal Expedition Cruises 2020-2021 brochure is now available for order or download.
In her 2020 season, the ship will sail expedition voyages through Japan and the Russian Far East; Antarctica via the Ross Sea; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. In 2021, Crystal Endeavor will add New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands; Alaska and the Aleutian Islands; Norway and the United Kingdom; Canary Islands, Atlantic and South America to her repertoire, as well as an extraordinary voyage through the rarely traveled Northeast Passage.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Miami, FL – (August 23, 2019) – Whet Travel, the leader in independent music cruise experiences, including the wildly popular Groove Cruise and Salsa Cruise, is back to take on the Magic City! Groove Cruise Miami 2020 reveals their biggest line-up yet of top artists, including headliners Above & Beyond! Sailing from Miami aboard the award-winning Celebrity Infinity, guests will enjoy 96-hours of non-stop electronic music January 9-13, including a destination beach party in Costa Maya.
Click to Tweet: Start the year with 96-hours of non-stop music with #GrooveCruise, the world’s premier electronic music cruise. http://bit.ly/gcmia2020
“Groove Cruise Miami 2020 is going to be our best yet, with amazing headliners, incredible events and the loyal captains, our returning guests, who make this event unforgettable year after year,” said Jason Beukema, founder and CEO of Whet Travel. “Since 2004, we have set the standard for music cruises in the industry and we’ve stepped up our game even more this time around by adding new talent and experiences to the Groove Cruise Miami 2020 line-up. We’re almost sold out and look forward to giving our guests an unforgettable experience.”
The incredible five-day Groove Cruise Miami 2020 will feature performances from more than 30 diverse top electronic dance artists on next-level stages, including Above & Beyond’s progressive trance, KSHMR’s big room beats, and Roger Sanchez’s legendary house style. Also joining the all-star cast of headliners is techno legend Loco Dice, deep house queen Nora En Pure, and innovator Markus Schulz, who is known for a unique fusion of the best elements of progressive, trance, and house music.
In addition to fan-favorite headliners, Groove Cruise Miami 2020 attendees will enjoy hosted stages by Coldharbour, Desolat, Dharma Records, Incorrect, Purified, Undr The Radr, and United We Groove. Fans will also enjoy multiple performances from Anthony Attalla, Caleb Calloway, Danny Howard, Emma Hewitt, Fatum, Gene Farris, Jvna, Mariana Bo, Offaiah, Qrion, and Yaya to ensure the party never stops -- and it never will, as Whet Travel is planning 96 straight hours of non-stop music and entertainment. In addition to live music, the event will include access to Celebrity Cruises’ renowned, luxurious onboard amenities, as well as unique artist-fan activities with up close and personal access to the talent onboard. If 96-hours of music isn’t enough, there will also be pre- and post-cruise parties at the world-famous E11VEN in Miami, with special accommodations for the GCFam available with the nearby Clevelander Hotel.
This first-rate EDM music experience is nearly sold out with less than 25 staterooms remaining; those interested can purchase tickets online at www.GrooveCruise.com.
For more information and package pricing, visit https://groovecruise.com/ and sign up for the newsletter. For the latest Groove Cruise updates, become a fan on Facebook and follow the event on Instagram. For a sneak peek, check out an event video here. To listen to the Groove Cruise playlist, check out spotify. For all Whet Travel news, follow on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
(PRESS RELEASE)_SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 22, 2019) – Princess Cruises, one of the world’s largest international premium cruise lines, announced its 2021 Canada & New England cruise and cruisetour season. Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess, one of the cruise line’s newest ships – will bring passengers to destinations rich in history and savory seafood, including unique seaside towns along the east coast. Also offered this season is the opportunity to see the breathtaking landscapes of Greenland, the world’s largest island.
Both ships offer the Princess MedallionClass experience including expedited embarkation, on-demand food and beverage delivery, the ability to locate your friends and family and more. Voted #1 Cruise Line for U.S. & Canada by Cruise Critic, the 2021 Canada & New England program goes on sale September 18, 2019, and features 16 departures, visiting 18 destinations on six itineraries ranging in length from seven to 16 days.
Top reasons to experience Canada & New England with Princess Cruises during the July – October 2021 season, include:
Whether it’s trekking through colonial history in Boston, surveying quaint towns along the coast, or savoring world-famous Maine lobster, guests experience the popular attractions, as well as the hidden gems on the array of itineraries offered:
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI – August 22, 2019 – With Celebrity Cruises’ 2020 Europe season poised to be the line’s most “revolutionary” yet, today the brand unveiled four new longer European sailings on board its newest ship, Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the brand’s innovative Edge Series.
“Like her industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge – which was just named one of TIME Magazine’s 2019 World’s Greatest Places – Celebrity Apex will feature an innovative outward-facing design and transformational accommodations that invite guests to take in the breathtaking world around them,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Now, with these four new and longer Mediterranean sailings, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the peak European experience in true Celebrity style.”
Among the new sailings on board Celebrity Apex are three 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings and a new 11-night Western Mediterranean sailing. The two 11-night Greece, Malta and Turkey sailings will depart from Rome, Italy, visiting Istanbul, Turkey; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Barcelona, Spain; while on the 10-night Greece, Malta and Turkey cruise, guests will be immersed in eight beautiful ports, including Barcelona, Spain; Crete, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Naples, Italy; and Rome, Italy. The one-of-a-kind 11-night Spain, France and Italian Riviera expedition will sail round-trip out of Barcelona, Spain, calling Provence (Marseille), France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nice, France; Santa Margherita, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.
From impeccable accommodations, including Edge Staterooms with Infinite Verandas and two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, to 29 world-class culinary venues, Celebrity Apex has it all. Following the ship’s Southampton debut, Celebrity Apexwill offer a mini season of five sailings to European destinations, including the Norwegian Fjords and the northern coasts of Spain and Portugal. Aboard the game-changing new vessel travelers can experience a new 10-night Capital Cities Cruise with visits to iconic cities including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris.
After Celebrity Apex’s Northern Europe mini season, she’ll spend the rest of her inaugural summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, with visits to bucket-list destinations such as Lisbon, Portugal; Istanbul; Monte Carlo; Cannes, France; and more. Intrigued European explorers are able to book cruises on board Celebrity Apex now. For more details on Celebrity Apex and the exciting new sailings being offered, visit www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-apex.
Joining Celebrity Apex in Europe is her award-winning sister ship, Celebrity Edge, and the newly revolutionized Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Constellation – featuring new staterooms and suites, new public spaces, and new luxurious designs. An exciting addition to the European itineraries is Trieste, Italy, and the first-ever mini season of sailings from Lisbon, that includes overnight stays in this incredible city. Country-immersive sailings are also being introduced that focus on Italy and Greece, designed to give guests an ever greater, in-depth experience. Celebrity will be returning to Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey, and Oslo, Norway, featuring overnight stays in the land of the midnight sun, as well as offering overnight stays in the guest-favorite cities of Dublin, Ireland, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Celebrity’s European itineraries will offer incredible choice, with over 90 destinations and 48 overnights, so travelers have more ways to explore Europe like never before, all while sailing on an award-winning fleet of modern luxury ships.
fOr more details on Celebrity's exciting European sailings visit www.celebritycruises.com/destinations/european-cruises.
(CRYSTAL)_Luxury travelers have less than two weeks remaining to save thousands of dollars on a world of Crystal voyages aboard the award-winning ships of Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Cruises and Crystal Expedition Cruises. The company’s Book Now Savings booking window closes August 31, 2019, with fares for 146 all-inclusive sailings increasing on September 1. The promotion offers savings on Crystal Cruises’ voyages of up to $7,600 per stateroom, up to $22,000 per stateroom on Grand Journeys and up to $25,000 per stateroom on Full World Cruises; up to $4,000 per suite along Europe’s rivers with select Crystal River Cruises; up to $4,000 per suite on select sailings through the Seychelles, Arabian Peninsula, Adriatic and Dalmatian Coast aboard Crystal Yacht Cruises; and up to $8,000 per suite on select sailings for Crystal Expedition Cruises.
The Book Now Savings apply to voyages in 2019, 2020 and 2021 for all Crystal brand experiences, as well as Crystal’s just-announced Ocean itineraries for 2022. Crystal’s generous Book Now Savings program is designed to reward travelers who book early with the very best possible fares for the sailings of their choice.
A reimagined poolscape with all-day Caribbean vibes will introduce a larger variety of seating and shade with casitas, daybeds and hammocks; the Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, and grab-and-go Mexican fare from El Loco Fresh. Joining poolside is the new, signature bar The Lime & Coconut. The three-level hot spot serves up live music, cocktails and a rooftop deck for a bird’s eye view of the action.
(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, Aug. 21, 2019 – A bolder and reimagined Freedom of the Seas will redefine island hopping in the Southern Caribbean, following a $116 million amplification. Royal Caribbean International has announced the high-energy features and guest favorites that will come aboard, including The Perfect Storm duo of waterslides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces. Starting March 2020, the newly amplified Freedom will set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico on 7-night Southern Caribbean cruises to idyllic destinations, from Saint Lucia and Antigua to the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
All-day Thrills on Deck
Vacationers can up the ante with more ways to play joining fan favorites like the FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf and the rock-climbing wall.
The Perfect Storm, the heart-pumping duo of racer waterslides, is three stories of adventure that will take excitement off the charts. On Cyclone and Typhoon, guests are in for the ultimate race as they go head to head through twists and turns for bragging rights
A reimagined poolscape comes to life with all-day Caribbean vibes, a larger variety of seating and shade with casitas, daybeds and hammocks, and the Splashaway Bay aquapark for the youngest travelers. For downtime, guests can escape to the renewed, adults-only Solarium
The Lime & Coconut, Royal Caribbean’s new, poolside signature bar, is at the center of it all. The three-level spot serves up live music, a lineup of cocktails and a rooftop deck for a bird’s eye view of the action
Next-level Culinary Delights
Freedom’s amplification will also introduce more dining venues, spanning Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisine, tantalizing guests’ taste buds more than ever.
Stay current with the latest news from the cruise lines.