First-timers on MSC Seaside

  As veteran cruisers, it’s always exciting to experience a new ship, and a new brand, for the first time. So Pam and I were looking forward to our first voyage on MSC, taking MSC Seaside from the Port of Miami. MSC, well-established in Europe and South America, is looking to capture the American market with big, shiny new ships like Seaside, the first in its Seaside Class, which launched in late 2017. Sister ship Seaview debuted …

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Tell Everyone: The Virgin Islands Are Open for Business

  MIAMI_At an off-site lunch during SeaTrade Cruise Global, the message delivered by the U.S. Virgin Islands Dept. of Tourism and government officials was clear: The U.S. Virgin Islands are open for business. Back-to-back hurricanes in 2017 — Irma and Maria — left a wide path of destruction across the three islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. But officials pointed to significant recovery across the board. Underscoring that optimism, they pointed out, was Spirit …

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SeaTrade Message: Business Is Booming

  SEATRADE MIAMI- After moving to Ft. Lauderdale, SeaTrade Cruise Global 2019 once again returned to Miami following an extensive refurbishing of the Miami Beach Convention Center. Cruise industry executives were joined by thousands of attendees and 700 exhibitors representing every facet of the cruise business. And business is booming. Kelly Craighead, the president and CEO of the Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA), confirmed that in her opening remarks on Tuesday with these stats: In 2018, 28.5 …

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RCL’s new Coco Cay is meant to rival any water park on land, and will debut in May 2019

ABOARD SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS  — Three years ago, Jim Berra, Royal Caribbean’s Chief Marketing Officer, said the cruise line had a vision of what a “perfect day” might be for their guests Combine their private island, Coco Cay, with $250 million, and that vision is about to become reality. “Perfect Day at Coco Cay” was showcased for media and travel agents aboard this cruise ship, the world’s largest. As Royal executives pointed out, the end result …

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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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‘Scarlet Lady’ Going to Cuba in 2020

Virgin Voyages announced today that the company’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, will feature Cuba as one of her voyage destinations during her inaugural season in 2020. Virgin Voyages’ decision to sail to Cuba was influenced by customer and travel partner research it conducted in North America and the United Kingdom. Both groups consistently rank the Caribbean island as one of the most desired and interesting destinations to visit on a voyage. “Virgin Atlantic has been visiting Cuba …

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If we could “hear” our cruise vacation photos, what would they sound like?

Believe it or not, Royal Caribbean has debuted a new tool that does exactly that. Called “SoundSeeker,” it uses artificial intelligence to create a unique soundtrack to photos you choose and turns the result into a downloadable video that can be easily shared on social media or email. “SoundSeeker is the latest proof point of Royal Caribbean innovation and how we focus it on delivering unexpected, memorable experiences; whether that is the SkyPad, which uniquely combines bungee …

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Brightline connects West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami and makes it easy for South Florida residents to get to their port

Florida can rightfully be called the Cruise Capital of the World. With five active ports – Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Tampa and Palm Beach – the state hosts the industry’s biggest and best ships, with more terminal expansions under way. For those of us who live in South Florida and love cruising, it’s an embarrassment of riches. The only  challenge is getting to the port, which for us typically means fighting the traffic on I95, navigating …

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Carnival celebrates the Carnival Horizon arriving in her new home port of Miami

MIAMI-When Carnival throws a party, they go big. And that was definitely the case when their newest and biggest ship, Carnival Horizon, arrived in her new home port of Miami Sept. 20. High overhead was the big “Choose Fun” airship, which has been circling the Southeast for several weeks promoting the brand. Onboard to welcome guests, travel agents and media were many of Carnival’s top execs, including its president, Christine Duffy, and its Chief Fun Officer, NBA …

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Grand Celebration: A short cruise long on value

While a long, leisurely cruise is nice, sometimes you just crave a spur-of-the-moment, quick getaway. For anyone looking for a short-term, high-value cruise, it’s hard to beat Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s trips to the Bahamas. As the only cruise line serving the Port of Palm Beach, they have established themselves as the value leader in this part of Florida. Trust me: For those who live nearby, having a port option other than Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or Port …

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