Holland America Line adds multilingual shore tours

Rondleidingen. Visitas. Führungen. They all mean “tours” — in Dutch, Spanish and German. That’s what Holland America will be offering for their new multilingual shore excursions, which will cater to their Dutch, Spanish and German guests. The cruise line notes these new tours were developed for European travelers who may “opt to book a less traditional tour — offered in their own language — such as a hiking adventure, biking through town or visiting the countryside. However, for …

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So you think you can dance? Compete with the stars on Holland America

So you think you can dance? If so, you have your chance as part of Holland America’s “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” program. It features a dance competition in which 15 guests (one for each ship in the Holland’s fleet) receive a free cruise and a chance to compete for a Mirror Ball Trophy on the “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” Champions Cruise on ms Nieuw Amsterdam Jan. 12, 2014. Continuing through Nov. 25, sailings …

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The new Norwegian Breakaway successfully completes sea trials

Norwegian Breakaway is one step closer to her official debut in May, successfully completing technical and nautical sea trials off the coast of Norway and Denmark. You might be interested in just how a big cruise ship is tested. Here are some details from Norwegian: “In order to assess the ship’s speed, the Captain, navigational officers and representatives from MEYER WERFT tested all of the various power outputs for the propellers. The speed was then adjusted to …

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Don’t have a lot of time? Four-night river cruises offered on the Queen of the Mississippi

River cruising isn’t just in Europe, you know. We have plenty of rivers here in the U.S. as well. American Cruise Lines has announced the addition of four-night cruises to the Queen of the Mississippi’s 2013 schedule. The cruise line notes, “three days shorter than the standard itinerary length on the Mississippi River, the new cruises will focus on the various plantations found along the river.” The new cruises are round trip from New Orleans and include …

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Celebrity Cruises adds ‘SPE Certified’ to culinary dishes

In what Celebrity Cruises says is another “culinary first,” they have partnered with SPE Certified to “expand its healthy dining options with scientifically-grounded, third-party validation of their merits.” SPE (Latin for Sanitas Per Escam, or “Health Through Food”) Certified is a certification and consulting program aimed at enhancing nutrition without compromising taste. Using criteria such as seasonality, sourcing, sustainability and ideal portion size, every dish they certify is low in salt and saturated fats and meet other …

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Tanja, martini master on the Azamara Quest

If you are ever on the Azamara Quest, and love a good martini (and who doesn’t?), you should go straight-away to the Casino Luxe Bar on deck 5 and see Tanja from Macedonia. Besides being a true martini master, her friendly, accommodating service creates a relaxing, glad-you-are-here experience. One of the specialties there is the “Martini Flight” — a sampler of five different martinis for $15. Of course we had to try it. It added to the …

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Getaway to feature magic experience

Two news items from Norwegian… IT’S MAGIC. Guests aboard Norwegian Getaway,debuting February, 2014, will be guaranteed a magical time, thanks to the Illusionarium. Called the first of its kind at sea, the dining/entertainment experience “will envelope guests in the fascinating world of magic, inviting them to experience the astonishing illusions of world-class magicians and supernatural special effects,” according to Norwegian. The result of a collaboration between Norwegian and Broadway director/choreographer Patricia Wilcox, Tony Award winning scenic designer David Gallo and veteran …

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Sin City Comedy will be new entertainment on Celebrity ships

Sin City is coming to Celebrity — “Sin City Comedy” that is. The acclaimed Las Vegas show, described as “edgy, funny and a little bit sexy,” debuts as a new late night entertainment option on Reflection and Silhouette, then move to Solstice in May. The Planet Hollywood show is a two-time winner of the “Best of Las Vegas” award. Because the shows contain adult content, they are restricted to guests age 18 and older.

Cunard decides to ease up the dress codes on its three Queens

The Telegraph is reporting that Cunard is relaxing their famous dress code. Quoting the article: “The British-American cruise line, known for its long-standing commitment to formal dress codes, has refined its evening wear options of ‘formal’, ‘semi-formal’, and ‘elegant casual’ to simply ‘formal’ and ‘informal’.” They say the new relaxed measures will take effect in April. I can just hear Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey reacting to the news: “Has the world gone mad?” Somehow I doubt …

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A recap of our ten days aboard the Azamara Quest: Excellent across the board

ABOARD AZAMARA QUEST, DAY TWELVE – And so it comes to the last full day of our “Virgins Islands and Frenchmen Voyage.” By tomorrow morning we will be back at the Port of Miami, where some of us will say goodbye and others will continue to new adventures as Quest makes sail to Europe. As “newbies” to Azamara Club Cruises (and there were a decent number of first-timers joining us), time for some overall thoughts about our …

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