July 6 a special day for Queen Mary 2

July 6 will be a very special day for Cunard. Why? As Cunard’s Peter Shanks writes in his blog: “On the 6 July Queen Mary 2 will make her 200th crossing of the Atlantic Ocean – and since 2004 will have delighted over 520,000 passengers. Over the coming weeks we will be celebrating this milestone – not least on the 200th crossing itself.” As two of those 520,000 delighted passengers, Pam and I have our own fond …

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Norwegian offering Angus beef at sea

Steak-lovers, rejoice. Norwegian Cruise Line announced today “it is now the only cruise line to serve Certified Angus Beef brand steaks.” Currently available in Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Bistro French restaurant on ten Norwegian ships, including the new Norwegian Breakaway, they are due to arrive on Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Spirit by August. Guests can choose from a variety of cuts, ranging from a 14-ounce dry-aged center-cut strip loin to an 18-ounce bone-in ribeye, as well as an eight-ounce center-cut filet …

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‘Royal Princess’ gets musical salute

Ceremonies are shifting into high gear for the inauguration of the new Princess ship, Royal Princess. She was welcomed into Southampton with a musical salute as part of a week-long series of special inaugural events. Princess reported that “British actor, director and writer Simon Callow orchestrated the Southampton University Brass Band to serenade the new Princess Cruises ship with a rendition of God Save The Queen as the vessel sailed into the harbor.” In answer back, Royal …

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Celebrity’s Lawn Club Coming to Big Apple

One of the features that make the Celebrity cruise experience unique on their new Solstice-class ships is The Lawn Club — thousands of square feet of real grass where you can play games, dine, even enjoy a picnic in a private alcove. This month, Celebrity is bringing that same experience — minus the ocean — to New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. On June 10 and 11, they are recreating “The Lawn Club Experience” in Vanderbilt Hall. …

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Queen Mary 2 marks 77th anniversary

Today is a special day for Cunard. When the Queen Mary 2 sails into New York harbor, concluding her Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton, it will mark 77th anniversary of the maiden call of the original Queen Mary in New York in 1936. Having cruised on the Queen Mary 2 from the Big Apple, we can imagine it was just as special then as now. Here’s a little of the backstory from Cunard: “Queen Mary’s Maiden Voyage began …

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Royal Caribbean orders third quantum class ship

Royal Caribbean is doubling down on its new Quantum-class cruise ships. Today they announced that it has signed a contract with the Meyer Werft shipyard to construct a third Quantum-class cruise ship for delivery in mid-2016. More details from the press release: “The yet-unnamed Quantum-class vessel will join the Royal Caribbean International fleet, alongside Quantum of the Seas, which will make its maiden voyage in 2014, and Anthem of the Seas, scheduled to debut in 2015. “Quantum …

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Cunard to mark “Aquitania’s” 100th anniversary

Among all cruise lines, Cunard has a rich, deep and proud tradition. Yet another example of that is Queen Victoria’s upcoming visit to Liverpool, England, in May, 2014 – “the first two-day call in Cunard’s spiritual home made by a Cunard ship in almost 50 years.” It takes place during the 13-day Around the British Isles cruise, departing round-trip from Southampton May 23, 2014, arriving in Liverpool on May 30, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage …

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Celebrity chef featured on cruise

Holland America is featuring celebrity chef Cat Cora as part of their Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food and Wine magazine. She is scheduled to sail on ms Nieuw Amsterdam’s 12-day Mediterranean Empires cruise departing July 2, 2013. The Culinary Arts Center presented by Food and Wine magazine offers guests on their 15 ships to “experience cooking shows, wine tastings and question-and-answer sessions in a full show kitchen. Also offered are hands-on classes conducted by top chefs, …

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Quantum of the Seas’ ‘North Star’ will offer bird’s eye views

As details emerge for Quantum of the Seas, you can tell the execs at Royal Caribbean can hardly contain their excitement. Any why not? We expected Oasis of the Seas to be a hard act to follow. But guess what? The cruise line known for innovation has delivered another “WOW” in spades with this ship.  Before we get to the features, a few basics: — Quantum will sail out of New York harbor and home port at …

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Quantum of the Seas to offer skydiving at sea

You want innovation? How about skydiving at sea? That’s yet another feature coming on Quantum of the Seas. Thrill-seekers and others who want to experience what it’s like to jump from an airplane at 10,000 feet will don a jump suit and enter a wind tunnel for Ripcord by iFly. You might want to have your family snap a picture — otherwise your friends may not believe you went skydiving on your cruise! — Gerry