Carnival Magic Makes Unexpected Two-Day Shore Stop for Emergency Repairs

By Jackie Sheckler Finch The Carnival Magic cruise ship took an unexpected shore stop Wednesday and Thursday to make emergency repairs to the new ship. “We are experiencing a technical problem with one of our stern thrusters, side propellers on the aft that help the ship move sideways,” said Magic Captain Giovanni Cutugno. “Don’t worry,” he said. “This does not compromise the ship’s safely in any way as all other systems and hotel services are functioning normally.” …

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Carnival Cruise Line Creates Own Beer

By Jackie Sheckler Finch He used to live in the forest, soaking up the rain. Now he lives on the Carnival Magic, basking in the sun. That’s the Carnival story about the RedFrog. And they’re sticking to it. In fact, the little tree frog has made himself so at home on the cruise ship that he has his own private label draught beer, custom-brewed specially for Carnival – ThirstyFrog Red. The first pub ever on a Carnival …

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We learn how they make Barrier Gold balms and oils

November 16, 2011 Day two in our perfect little harbor off Great Barrier Island, but suddenly the sun and warmth are gone. We bundle up for the short jaunt over to shore and the quirky homestead of Trish and Sven Stellin. For more than 18 years, they’ve been making Barrier Gold balms and oils from the manuka and kanuka plants, better known in the States as tea trees. The plants, once reviled as weeds, now are the …

Read moreWe learn how they make Barrier Gold balms and oils

Royal Caribbean and Starbucks coffee company Start Brewing Aboard Oasis of the Seas

In time for the holidays, Oasis of the Seas joins Allure of the Seas and welcomes second Starbucks at Sea Royal Caribbean International today announced that guests aboard the cruise line’s Oasis of the Seas will be able to enjoy their favorite hand-crafted espresso beverage at the ship’s new Starbucks® store. Royal Caribbean premiered the first Starbucks at sea aboard sister-ship Allure of the Seas, when she launched in December 2010. Through a licensing agreement between Starbucks …

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Carnival Cruise Lines Celebrates the Introduction of Two Year-Round Ships From New Orleans With Ceremony on November 14

Event Highlighted by $25,000 charitable donation from Carnival to Café Reconcile Organization To celebrate the launch of two year-round cruise ships from New Orleans, Carnival Cruise Lines held a special VIP ceremony earlier today aboard the Carnival Elation at the Port of New Orleans.   During the event, the line made a $25,000 donation to Reconcile New Orleans, which operates Café Reconcile as part of a job-training program that prepares adolescents for hospitality industry careers through training and …

Read moreCarnival Cruise Lines Celebrates the Introduction of Two Year-Round Ships From New Orleans With Ceremony on November 14

Maroon 5 Rocks Galveston to Welcome Carnival Magic

Story and Photos By Jackie Sheckler Finch GALVESTON, Texas – With the massive Magic cruise ship as a backdrop, the band Maroon 5 rocked Galveston on Sunday to welcome Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and biggest ship to its Texas home port. “We’re thrilled to celebrate the Carnival Magic’s arrival with a Texas-sized performance by Maroon 5, one of the country’s most popular bands,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Line’s president and CEO. Thousands of fans moved like …

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A visit to the Glendern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island

November 15, 2011 The sun and warmth of a real spring day help carry us over to Port Fitzroy on Great Barrier Island, heart of an inspiring conservation tale. I’ve been to Kapiti Island off Wellington, which is a predator-free haven for New Zealand’s endangered native birds. This bit of land jutting into the Hauraki Gulf is now the Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary, which is also trying to give native birds one last chance. The late Tony Bouzaid …

Read moreA visit to the Glendern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island

Our day at Waiheke features tastings from three wineries

November 14, 2011 We tender over to Waiheke Island this morning, forced by southwesterly winds to land on shore rather than the harbor. At sandy Oneroa Bay, we time the waves to make a beach landing, hopping off in rhythm with the surf. It’s a morning of wine tastings at three of Waiheke’s best vineyards. This once sleepy island was a hippie haven until vintners discovered its climate was a match for Bordeaux’s, and the first vines …

Read moreOur day at Waiheke features tastings from three wineries

MS EUROPA Shining in New Splendor after Shipyard Stay

·         New interior design for the Lido Café ·         Redesign of the Penthouse Grand Suites ·         Fully comprehensive renovation of the bathrooms on Deck 9 ·         Installation of a new in-room communication system The focus of the works carried out on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA during her 13-day shipyard stay was a complete facelift of the interior design of the Lido Café, which now boasts a new design of shades of beige and dark blue. Furthermore, the bathrooms on Deck 9 were …

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Cruise Lines Offer Special Rates for Active and Retired Military Personnel

Having celebrated Veterans Day this past weekend, the occasion brings to mind thoughts of our military and whether there are special cruise rates for those who have served in the various branches of the armed forces.   We receive many questions on this topic- so let’s take a moment to review some important and timely information: Yes, most of the cruise lines offer special rates for Military Personnel. Below is a sampling of what Royal Caribbean International offers …

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