A great day in Barcelona capped off by wine and tapas!

Saturday, November 7, 2009…My Equinox diary Today was spent in Barcelona, one of my favorite cities in Europe. The weather was mild and the sun shone all day. (One thing we heard from the 300 or so folks who were on the Equinox for the past two weeks for its last regular Med sailing was that it was a gray and dreary trip, raining almost every day. These folks are called back-to-backers and will have been on…

We board the Equinox, change cabins and I see the doctor

Friday, November 6, 2009…My Equinox diary We have been very busy since we boarded the ship yesterday. We began at the Hilton Garden Inn at the Rome Airport where we almost joined another group from Kentucky who were taking a bus from the hotel to the pier. We had made our own plans to return to the airport (10 minutes) and then catch the Celebrity bus transfer to Civitavecchia from there. We decided it make sense to…

Our trip begins with a flight and night’s stay in Rome

Finally, the journey begins. In the months prior to any major cruise, there is lots of planning and anticipation. The flights must be scheduled. The shore excursions discussed. You need to decide which dining plan to go with… And, for every guy, do I bring the tuxedo or not? Then it all comes to fruition and the trip begins. Our trip began yesterday morning when we boarded a flight in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., bound for Atlanta, Ga.,…

Princess debuts fully digital travel documents

Princess Cruises has debuted an innovative array of digital documents designed to transform the way passengers plan for and learn about their upcoming cruise. The all-new electronic format will deliver more information about their cruise than ever before, arriving conveniently by email and right to their computer desktop from the time of booking and continuing through departure.

The timely digital documents include a brand-new email series filled with personalized pre-cruise information, a downloadable Princess Countdown ConnectionTM widget that delivers useful and entertaining information to a passenger’s computer, personalized online luggage tags, and customizable shore excursion eBooks. The change from printed information to fully digital documents applies to all North American passengers on voyages departing on or after January 21, 2010.

“These new digital enhancements are yet another example of our commitment to service innovation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president. “Not only will our passengers receive the most comprehensive array of pre-cruise information we’ve ever made available, the information is also fully personalized, and the content is designed to build excitement and anticipation for their cruise with a rich collection of multi-media experiences. Digital documents are also more environmentally friendly.”

Princess’ new digital documents include:

Personalized Pre-Cruise Emails

As soon as passengers book their cruise, they will begin to receive a new series of four emails that are timed to deliver just the right information needed for each stage of the cruise planning process. Replacing a printed Cruise Answer Book, the emails include the passenger booking details and interactive content that gives passengers a fun, engaging way to learn more about the signature amenities and activities they will experience on their ship.

The information will be customized to the itinerary and the ship the passenger is sailing, and greetings are featured from some of the senior officers who will be sailing on their cruise. An array of links are also provided to such things as ship videos and virtual tours, bridge cams, dining options, entertainment choices, shipboard features and amenities, travel logistics, weather information, packing tips, frequently asked questions, Captain’s Circle benefits, important notices and reminders, and how to stay connected to family and friends while onboard.

Princess Countdown Connection

To help passengers anticipate and prepare for their upcoming sailing, the innovative Princess Countdown Connection widget is an eye-catching online clock that ticks down the days, hours and minutes until their cruise departs. The new application, which can be downloaded from the pre-cruise emails, can live right on a passenger’s computer desktop, and will automatically deliver an array of personalized information to them about their upcoming sailing such as dining, onboard activities, shore excursions and notices.

Uniworld offers double early booking discounts

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection offers travelers another way to save on its 2010  Europe river cruises. Couples who book a 2010 Europe river cruise can take advantage of Uniworld’s “Double Early Booking Discount” with savings up to $1,200 by paying-in-full for their trip by November 30, 2009. Or if they prefer, they can simply book and deposit with Uniworld’s Early Booking Discount by November 30, 2009 to save up to $600 ($300 per person). Uniworld offers…

Oasis of the Seas will have seven godmothers

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said the 225,000-ton Oasis of the Seas will have seven godmothers, one for each of the neighborhoods on the world’s largest cruise ship. “Each godmother will start in her own area and then they will all convene at the AquaTheatre for the formal naming,” Fain wrote in his blog. “All seven godmothers will cut a ribbon, which will require seven complete cuts to release the bottle. Seven special…

Suzanne Somers welcomes MS Poesia for inaugural

MSC Cruises is the first cruise line to host Jason Sadler of, a business venture where Sadler wears a company shirt and then promotes it by blogging about it on social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Sadler will be broadcasting live November 13 on wearing an MSC Cruises shirt while capturing various aspects of the experience onboard MSC Poesia for her inaugural Caribbean cruise 5-night sailing on November 10. “I’ve worn…

NCL kicks off 2nd phase of ‘Epic’ advertising

Norwegian Cruise Line kicked off the second phase of its Norwegian Epic advertising campaign today entitled “That’s Epic,” in support of the line’s largest and most impressive ship to date, set to cruise to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Miami next summer. The latest installment of the campaign can be seen by residents and commuters throughout Miami with more than a dozen billboards and wallscapes depicting Norwegian Epic‘s impressive array of on-board activities and entertainment including…

New Year’s on the Rhine for $999 on Viking

You’re invited to ring in the New Year with Viking River Cruises. This year, enjoy the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration: put on your dancing shoes for a festive party aboard the deluxe Viking Helvetia, surrounded by fireworks on the Rhine River. For a limited time, cruise for $999 per person, any available category, December 27, 2009! This delightful cruise presents the highlights of the Rhine River Valley including Cologne, Koblenz, Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, Marksburg, Speyer and Mainz….

Windstar running Caribbean sale through Nov. 11

Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations, has begun a “80 Degrees of Sunshine; 180 Degrees from Ordinary” sale on 2010 Caribbean sailings. Guests will receive incredible savings on select 7-day Caribbean voyages which start at $1,799 per person, based on double occupancy. The 148-guest Wind Spirit debuts a new 7-day St. Martin roundtrip itinerary offering guests pristine beaches, lively island…

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