Symphony of the Seas made its official debut

MIAMI-Royal  Caribbean’s newest, biggest and grandest ship – Symphony of the Seas – made its official debut here during a preview cruise for travel agents, media and special guests. It’s the fourth Oasis-class ship in the fleet, joining Oasis, Allure and Harmony. Symphony is everything you loved about those ships, and more. Drawing heavily from guest feedback, President/CEO Michael Bayley talked about the ship’s 25 percent improvement in efficiency as well as the addition of features like …

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Cruising in the Far East with RCI & HAL: Shanghaied Again

ABOARD QUANTUM of the SEAS — Early this morning the Quantum cruised into the mouth of China’s Yangtze River and then turned left on to the Huangpu River.  After docking again at Shanghai’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal we had a late leisurely breakfast and waited to disembark after other passengers, as we can’t board the Westerdam until 11AM.  The Westerdam just happens to be conveniently docked bumper-to-bumper in front of the Quantum.  Nevertheless, clearing Chinese immigration in …

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Cruising in the Far East with RCI: Home Bound for China

ABOARD QUANTUM of the SEAS – We’re on our final sea day and I have a few loose ends to tie up in my coverage of the Quantum experience, such as ways to spend the final day of the cruise. Certainly there are numerous activities less strenuous than skydiving and rock climbing that I’ve failed to mention.  Reading in the library, playing cards, and there is surely a game of mah-jongg going on somewhere.  Jewelry and art …

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Cruising in the Far East with RCI: Big Ship, Big Excitement

ABOARD QUANTUM of the SEAS – Upon first seeing a megaship, I was a bit overwhelmed.  Yes, they are huge, if that isn’t an understatement. In order to further describe megaships, cruise writers and bloggers have invented a few analogies that I’d like to explore aboard the Quantum of the Seas. The first analogy for the largest Oasis-class ships is that their split “open-atrium” structure is made possible by their hulls extraordinary width that is double most …

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Cruising in the Far East with RCI & HAL: Doubling Our Fun

ABOARD QUANTUM of the SEAS — I’m in Shanghai with my wife, Jialin, for a twofer, two cruises back-to-back with Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and Holland America Lines (HAL).  I expect they will differ considerably. We arrived at Shanghai’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, this morning at 11 AM to board the Quantum of the Seas, the fifth largest of Royal Caribbean International’s innovative megaships and sixth largest cruise ship in the world, for a four day cruise …

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. introduces first school built with proceeds from Hope Starts Here hurricane relief campaign

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announced the opening of Ivan Dawson Primary School, the first school to be constructed as a result of the company’s Hope Starts Here hurricane relief campaign. Together with All Hearts and Hands – Smart Response, the company raised over $2.5 million dollars to deliver early relief response and rebuild safe, resilient schools in the Caribbean communities impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  A portion of the proceeds was used to build the …

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Norwegian Cruise Line hosts Jon Bon Jovi’s ‘Runaway to Paradise’ cruises in spring and summer 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruise travel, today announced it will host Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and Grammy® Award-winner Jon Bon Jovi’s Runaway To Paradise cruise vacations in partnership with Runaway Tours, creators of world-class intimate artists experiences, and Sixthman, the industry leader in music festival vacation experiences. Norwegian Jade will be hosting Runaway To Paradise’s Caribbean cruise, which will be sailing from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas on April 12-16, while Norwegian Pearl …

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MSC Seaview cruise ship is named in a glittering ceremony in the historic port of Genoa

MSC Cruises has christened their new flagship, MSC Seaview, in true MSC Cruises style with a star-studded line-up, VIPs, key travel partners and international media as well as top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company MSC Group. Gianluigi Aponte, MSC Group’s founder and executive chairman as well as the ship owner, will attend together with the Aponte and Aponte-Vago families. MSC Cruises, Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe and South …

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New dimension in vertical transportation on Carnival Horizon

BARCELONA-In a stream of passengers boarding the new Carnival Horizon, I entered an elevator for a ride to my assigned cabin, only to become a prisoner to a lift with a brain but no buttons. The door closed quickly. Nearly a dozen of us, seemingly trapped in an elevator without controls, began rising to who knew where. Carnival cruisers: Get ready for brainy lifts at sea that may know more about where you are going than you …

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Carnival Cruise Line to expand its Cuba cruise offerings in 2019-20 including the first Cuba cruises from Charleston

Carnival Cruise Line has expanded its cruises to Cuba with the addition of 23 three- to five-day sailings to Havana in 2019-20 aboard five different ships departing from four convenient East Coast homeports – Carnival Sunshine from Charleston, Carnival Triumph from Fort Lauderdale, Carnival Paradise from Tampa and Carnival Victory and Carnival Sensation from Miami. The 3,002-passenger, 102,853-ton Carnival Sunshine  will be the largest cruise ship to ever call in Havana while offering the first-ever cruise to …

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