Welcome to the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Blog where we keep you up to date with things about cruises that are part of cruise news, useful, interesting and even irrelevant but fun in the world of cruises and cruising.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Two new executives join the View from the Bridge pages at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine in which leaders in the cruise industry share their "views from the bridge", discussing trends and new concepts in cruise travel and offering novel perspectives about cruises and the cruise lines.

Colin Stone at Swan Hellenic shares his view from the bridge
Colin Stone, Managing Director, Swan Hellenic, who has been involved in the financial & commercial fields of UK cruise & ferry companies since 1977, and appointed Managing Director of Swan Hellenic in 2008, outlines Swan Hellenic’s long and distinguished heritage of cultural discovery cruises in "SWAN HELLENIC REFINES THE ART OF DISCOVERY CRUISING".

Mike Deegan shares his view from the bridge

And Mike Deegan, Managing Director, Hebridean Island Cruises, who has spent virtually his entire career in the shipping industry, expounds on his view that Hebridean Island Cruises sets the benchmark for luxury cruising around the Western isles of Scotland in “SAILING THE SCOTTISH ISLES IN A PRINCESS OF A SHIP

The View from the Bridge pages at Prow's Edge also showcase our archives of contributions from leaders in the cruise industry in years gone by.

The official naming ceremony for Oasis of the Seas will take place on November 30 during a one night inaugural celebration-fundraiser to benefit the non-profit Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event begin at $750 per person and guests who wish to continue their adventure onboard will receive an exclusive discount price, beginning at $650 per person, on a four-night cruise package sailing to the cruise line’s private beach destination, Labadee, departing the morning following the event on Dec. 1 (rates based on double-occupancy and stateroom package).

For reservations to this exclusive event combined with the four-night sailing, contact Cynthia Paez, Royal Caribbean International, at (877) 202-1520, ext. 12751, or cpaez@rccl.com.

For more about the new cruise ship visit the latest Prow's Edge news page about Royal Caribbean International at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-news-291009-royal-caribbean-international.html

Bookings are also available for Oasis of the Seas' inaugural sailing departing on December 5. The inaugural sailing will include exclusive entertainment and gifts for guests to commemorate the special occasion.

Following an intensive inspection by a team of U.S. Public Health officers, Crystal Cruises’ ultra-luxurious, award-winning Crystal Symphony received a “perfect” score of 100 from the Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC). The audit occurred during Crystal Symphony’s October 21 call in Boston, Massachusetts.

Scoring is based on 41 inspection items of the potable water system; food preparation and storage areas; waste management systems, including filters, ventilation devices and sanitizing temperatures; cleaning sequences and standards of accommodations and public areas; and general environmental health issues. Swimming pools and spas are also inspected.

The CDC developed its Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which operates under the U.S. Public Health Service Act, to inspect all cruise ships that offer foreign itineraries with U.S. ports, and assist the cruise ship industry in the implementation of systems to protect the health of travelers. Under the VSP, cruise ships are subject to unannounced health inspections.

Crystal Serenity also received a perfect 100 during her most recent call in Canada in May.

“Crystal Cruises’ record of perfect scores is indicative of our efforts to meet the highest standards of excellence in all areas of our cruise operation,” says Joe Valenti, Crystal Cruises’ senior vice president, marine operations.

Earlier this month, Crystal Symphony emerged from drydock with freshly redesigned Crystal Penthouses and Penthouse Suites, elegant Lido Café and Prego Italian restaurant and completely transformed pool deck, among other transformations. The $25+ million makeover reinforces Crystal’s commitment to delivering a product that consistently earns the industry’s top accolades. Likewise, the Public Health recognition comes just weeks following the line’s record 16th year voted “Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler.

For more information or Crystal reservations, contact a professional travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit crystalcruises.com.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We can't say it's too early to plan for Christmas, anymore - it's just around the corner - and the cruise lines are making it more difficult for you to decide what to do with the winter holidays with a wide range of Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s cruises this holiday season.

From the romantic, traditional destinations for Christmas like Vienna, Regensburg, Cologne, Prague and Paris with AMAWaterways, to something more unusual like Hurtigruten’s festive 21-Day Christmas and New Years - Antarctica cruise-tour.

Windstar Cruises and other cruise lines offer special rates in sunnier climates, from the Caribbean to Tahiti, large ships and small, luxury to family fun, but all celebrate the season with traditional favorites.

For more details on what all Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines are offering this winter holiday season, take a look at the latest Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine news item at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-news-281009-Cruise-Lines-International-Association-CLIA.html .

Monday, October 26, 2009

‘Magical Flying Beach Chair’ Offers Exhilarating Round-Trip Transfer Between New $62 Million Cruise Center and Mahogany Beach in Roatan, Honduras

News today about the destinations rather than the cruise lines - A new elevated chair lift – which will offer an exhilarating round-trip transfer between the new Mahogany Bay Cruise Center in Roatan and beautiful Mahogany Beach – will debut in conjunction with the cruise facility’s grand opening next month.

Unique to the Caribbean, the “Magical Flying Beach Chair” will be the first chair lift that transports riders from a cruise ship terminal directly to the beach.

The new beach chair lift will be one of the marquis features of the modern $62 million Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which will welcome its first cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend, on Friday, November 20.

The Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, which encompasses 20 acres of waterfront property and includes a two-berth cruise terminal, is a joint project of Carnival Corporation & plc and Roatan businessman Jerry Hynds.

“The ‘Magical Flying Beach Chair’ provides cruise ship guests with a fun and convenient means of getting to and from magnificent Mahogany Beach while offering a bird’s eye view of the beautiful bay and lush countryside of the surrounding area,” said Giora Israel, senior vice president of port and destination development for Carnival Corporation & plc.

Guests board the new beach chair lift system at the facility’s expansive Welcome Center and are dropped off directly on Mahogany Beach, a 10-acre private island featuring a gorgeous 825-foot-long white-sand beach replete with lounge chairs, floats, a beach volleyball court and myriad watersports opportunities. There are also eight exclusive cabanas for rent offering private beach access.

For more information on the new Mahogany Bay Cruise Center, visit www.mahoganybaycc.com.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Yesterday was an important day in the history of safety at sea for cruise passengers. USA Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (D-CA) joined with 385 colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 3619, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, requiring cruise lines to report all crimes aboard cruise ships to both the United States Coast Guard and the FBI.

With yesterday’s passage of this critical legislation, Americans on board cruise ships are many steps closer to the safety and protection they deserve.

The measure approved today is a major victory in the fight for cruise passengers’ rights. International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) President Kendall Carver expressed his hopeful outlook as the legislation has been approved by committee in the Senate.

“Adoption of this bill," he said, "would be proof to the world that our small group of volunteers with limited funds has been able to make a difference in the safety of Americans. When the Cruise Safety legislation is signed into law, it will serve to protect Americans across the nation during what ought to be relaxing vacations.”

For more news on this important milestone visit http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-news-ICV.html and for more details about the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) visit http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/

For information for cruise passengers about the issue of safety at sea, visit the Prow's Edge section on safety at sea at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-safety-at-sea.html for complete guide to Safety at Sea, The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009, High Seas Crimes, and Sexual Assault at sea.
It seems to be award season.....more news on awards for the cruise lines.....


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has picked up two awards in the 2009 Cruise Critic.co.uk Editors’ Picks Award listing.

In the first ever of this now to be annual award, Fred. Olsen came out on top in the categories “Best for Seeing the World” and “Best Refurbished Ship – Fred. Olsen’s Braemar”.

Commenting on this double-whammy, Marketing Director Nigel Lingard said: “We are absolutely delighted to be in the award line-up, and to get two awards is especially exciting. The Cruise Critic.co.uk website is one of the most popular consumer sites in the UK, and to have scooped the top slot in these categories means that the name of Fred. Olsen will be in front of our potential passengers in the most advantageous way possible.”

Fred. Olsen operates a fleet of four small-sized cruise ships: Braemar, Balmoral, Black Watch and Boudicca on worldwide itineraries from seven UK departure ports.

For more information on the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines see the Prow's Edge profile of Fred Olsen at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-fred-olsen-cruises.html or visit the Fred Olsen web site at http://www.fredolsencruises.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009


What do guests aboard a SeaDream Yacht Club transatlantic crossing do on a beautiful, calm day at latitude 26 degrees, 28 minutes- longitude 39 degrees 40 minutes, 958 nautical miles from the Azores and 1541 nautical miles from their destination, San Juan Puerto Rico?

Well, apparently they take a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

SeaDream II’s Captain Terje Willasen monitored Atlantic sea conditions each day after departing Seville, Spain on October 10. “Guests had been telling me they would like to take a swim in the Atlantic and at dawn on Thursday October 15, I knew that this was the day. The seas were as still as a pond.”

Under the close supervision of staffers, guests who wished to were invited to take a dip in the Atlantic from the SeaDream II’s stern Marina and bobbed about in the blue sea.

Later, in a special ceremony, the Captain awarded his Atlantic swim team a “Certificate of Accomplishment” to highlight the feat.

Sounds like fun to us!

For more information about Seadream visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine profile of the company at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-seadream-yacht-club.html or visit the Seadream web site at http://www.seadreamyachtclub.com/

Monday, October 19, 2009

Huge Savings on Cruise West's 24 World Wide Voyages

Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, is offering unprecedented savings for all 24 individual voyages (ranging from nine- to 19-nights) that combine to form the epic world adventure, Voyages of the Great Explorers.

Book and pay in full by December 18, 2009, for maximum value-add savings.

Whether guests are eyeing a trip to Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Mediterranean, Greek isles, East Coast, Australia or the South Pacific, there is tremendous value offered in this landmark year. Guests can save up to $1,550 per person ($3,100 per cabin) and receive FREE round trip international airfare from five select US Cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles , Chicago , Washington DC and New York or an air credit of $750 per person.

Additional saving incentives for all 24 voyages (except where noted) include:
· Bring a friend (new booking) and each person receives $500 off the cruise fare
· 50% savings for all children 18 and younger
· Single supplement will be waived on Voyages 1 – 4 in all cabin categories
· Reduced single supplement for Voyages 5 – 24 in Superior, Majestic, Premium and Classic cabin categories

All voyages take place on the intimate 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Prices start at $4,995 per person before savings and include a pre-cruise hotel night.

For further details on Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers itineraries, visit http://www.cruisewest.com/world-cruises, or to book a cruise for your client call 1-800-689-1783.

For the Prow's Edge profile of Cruise West visit http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-cruise-west.html

Friday, October 16, 2009


The cruise lines are determinedly using their web sites to promote their newest vessels, and Princess Cruises is just one of those cruise lines that has found an interesting way to attract your attention by inviting cruise enthusiasts to go behind the scenes at a shipyard as Coral Princess undergoes drydock through October 23.

The Coral Princess Drydock Journal, featured on the line’s website, shows the daily progress as the ship is lifted from the water and receives a full exterior and interior makeover, including the addition of the line’s signature features, The Sanctuary and Movies Under the Stars.

The journal will feature regular updates throughout the drydock at Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas.

The fourth in this unprecedented series, the Coral Princess Drydock Journal follows the enthusiastically received online journals chronicling work on Golden Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess.

“We’ve placed a high priority on enhancing our ships and debuting our signature features across the fleet, and these journals have been a great way for passengers to feel part of the process,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We’ve received wonderful feedback as people get to see the transformation first hand.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

PRINCESS OFFERS RELIEF OF ALL KINDS - not just a hot shower and a square meal

We all tend to take things for granted - like hot water and a shower every morning. But can you imagine how welcome hot water, a decent meal and showers must have been for a shift of refreshed Red Cross relief workers aboard the Sun Princess in Pago Pago, American Samoa.

When Star Princess and Sun Princess called in Apia, Samoa and Pago Pago, American Samoa this past weekend, the ships brought along not only a brief respite for the Red Cross relief workers, but also some much needed relief supplies and more than $10,000 in donations for the region that was recently hit with a powerful tsunami.

The ships off-loaded pallets of bottled water, sugar, flour, linens and clothing donated by passengers and crew, plus treats of candy and chocolate for the children. In addition, in Pago Pago, both ships welcomed Red Cross relief workers onboard for some relief of their own, with hot showers, use of the ships’ laundries, phone calls home and lunch.

The ship captains informed local officials that the Princess Cruises Community Foundation is donating $10,000 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Samoa and American Samoa.

The ships also conducted their own fundraising for the relief efforts, including donations from their Crew Club funds, contributions received from passengers and crew, and money raised from auctions of the ships’ navigational charts used during the cruises.

In Apia, the Honorable Misa Telfoni, the minister of tourism and deputy prime minister, was touched by the generosity of Princess Cruises. He made particular mention of the Princess crew and their donation which he described as “random acts of kindness and love” which would greatly assist in the recovery and renewed growth of the area.

For more information about Princess Cruises visit the Princess Cruises profile at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-princess-cruises.html

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Norwegian Cruise Line is inviting us to go "Inside Norwegian Cruise Line" during Epic Live!, a special interactive event on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 1:00-2:00 pm ET.

The event offers the latest news on Norwegian Cruise Line's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship as you join their host, Andy Stuart, Norwegian's EVP of Global Sales & Passenger Services, along with other special guests who will give you the inside scoop on Norwegian Epic.

You may even find out who'll be master of the vessel.

To register for the live event please Click Here. Make sure to test your system requirements by clicking the "System Test" tab on the registration page.

Part of October's National Cruise Vacation Month, the World's Largest Cruise Night is designed to showcase special offers made by the 25 member cruise lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and their thousands of travel agent partners throughout North America.

It’s easy for cruise travelers to take advantage of the special offers of World’s Largest Cruise Night by visiting CLIA’s website at www.cruising.org, clicking on the WLCN logo and using the locator to find a conveniently situated participating travel agent or a special agency event.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Only 3 days to go to the World's Largest Cruise Night on the 14th Ocotber 2009.

Part of October's National Cruise Vacation Month, the World's Largest Cruise Night is designed to showcase special offers made by the 25 member cruise lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and their thousands of travel agent partners throughout North America.

It’s easy for cruise travelers to take advantage of the special offers of World’s Largest Cruise Night by visiting CLIA’s website at www.cruising.org, clicking on the WLCN logo and using the locator to find a conveniently situated participating travel agent or a special agency event.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Following our many reports of health and safety at sea, and news of the awards and reports on cruise lines and cruise ships at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, news comes today of the perfect score for vessel sanitation for Costa Atlantica.

The Costa Atlantica, a member of the Costa Cruises fleet, once again received a perfect score for vessel sanitation in a recent inspection conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The inspection was held on September 26 during a stopover in New York, one of the port calls of the Costa Atlantica during the latter part of her transatlantic cruise. The cruise departed on September 16 from Savona and ended on October 3 in Québec.

The CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program introduced in the early 1970s for all ships that stop in a U.S. port. The inspections are unannounced and conducted by officials from the United States Public Health Service twice a year. The score, on a scale from 1 to 100, is assigned based on a checklist with 48 areas of assessment, evaluating hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), water, shipboard personnel and the ship as a whole.

This is the sixth time that the Costa Cruises fleet has received maximum marks from the CDC inspectors. The first vessel to obtain the perfect 100 was the Costa Atlantica in 2001. She repeated this success in 2005, while her sister ship, the Costa Mediterranea, obtained a top score in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Costa is the only cruise fleet flying the Italian flag and therefore is the only line whose cruise ships are subject to more restrictive environmental, safety and social accountability regulations. Costa Cruises not only operates in accordance with the prevailing laws but also, where possible, seeks to preempt legislation, setting higher standards for itself and more ambitious objectives by means of internal procedures that go beyond the scope of mandatory requirements of local, national and international regulations.

For more information about Costa Cruise Lines visit the Prow's Edge profile of the cruise line at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-costa-cruise-lines.html or visit the Costa Cruise Line web site at http://www.costacruise.com/B2C/USA/Default.htm

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Norwegian Cruise Line offers special savings on more than 300 popular cruises around the world as part of World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN), the centerpiece of October’s National Cruise Vacation Month, on Wednesday, October 14, with a preview day on Tuesday, October 13. The offer, available through October 20, provides half off standard cruise deposits and up to $250 in on-board credit per stateroom, based on cruise length and category.

The on-board credit can be used to purchase anything from shore excursions and spa treatments; to specialty fitness classes like yoga and spinning; gifts in the duty free shop and can even be used in the casino. The amount is based on the length of the cruise and the category of stateroom booked. Guests who book sailings of up to five days in a Garden Villa receive $100 per stateroom in spending credit; $75 for suites; $50 for mini-suites; $40 for balcony staterooms; $20 for oceanview and $15 for inside staterooms. For sailings of six days and longer, guests sailing in a Garden Villa receive $250 per stateroom in on-board spending credit; $150 for suites; $100 for mini-suites and deluxe balcony staterooms; $75 for balcony staterooms; $50 for oceanview and $25 for inside staterooms.

WLCN is part of a series of innovative initiatives launched in celebration of October's National Cruise Vacation Month, a North American celebration of the cruise experience. Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) member travel agencies across the U.S. and Canada will focus their promotional efforts to educate travelers on the value and diversity of today's cruise vacations.

For news about special savings from Norwegian Cruise Lines and other cruise lines take a look at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-news-021009-Cruise-Lines-International-Association-CLIA.html at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine online.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Celebrating National Cruise Month, as reported in our last blog entry at http://prows-edge-cruise-magazine.blogspot.com/2009/10/welcome-to-national-cruise-vacation.html, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has now announced a number of special offers available during these celebrations.

From shipboard credits to discounts in airfares, take a look at the latest news about these savings to be made during this month at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-news-021009-Cruise-Lines-International-Association-CLIA.html

Did you know that October is National Cruise Vacation Month?

And did you know that October 14th, 2009 is the World's Largest Cruise Night?

National Cruise Vacation Month is an annual event in which travel agencies across North America sponsor exciting events and promotions all focused on cruising - the most enjoyable, satisfying and value-oriented vacation option available in today's marketplace.

World's Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) is the highlight of October's National Cruise Vacation Month and offers offers shoppers a range of booking windows into November, is designed to showcase special offers made by the 25 member cruise lines of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and their thousands of travel agent partners throughout North America.

In 2008, the event generated more than $40 million in cruise sales as vacationers jumped at the chance to save.

In addition to a “Virtual WLCN,” where consumers can go online and obtain all the information they need on special offers, view videos and contact participating travel agents, there will be special events during the 24-hour period on October 14 at travel agencies around the country.

It’s easy for vacationers to take advantage of the special offers of World’s Largest Cruise Night: simply visit CLIA’s website at www.cruising.org, click on the WLCN logo and use the locator to find a conveniently situated participating travel agent or a special agency event.

Friday, October 2, 2009


If baseball is your passion - you might be interested in the latest announcement from MSC Cruises about a powerful lineup of "baseball greats" on their Baseball Greats theme cruises.

Some of the greats of the game – including numerous record holders and members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum – will be onboard, sharing their skills and their memories, during the powerful line up of five “Baseball Greats” theme cruises as MSC Poesia sails her inaugural season in the U.S. during the 2009-10 Caribbean cruise season.

In addition to visits to some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful locations, each “Baseball Greats” “sailing includes free interactive guest/player activities, including a player-hosted trivia game in which guests can test their baseball knowledge, question-and-answer sessions with the players, a guest pitching contest and a lively story-telling session. Players will also host pitching, hitting, fielding and base running clinics.

Perhaps the most popular activity is the free autograph session at the end of the cruise.

MSC Poesia offers “Baseball Greats” theme cruises on the following roundtrip itineraries from Fort Lauderdale:
  • Nov. 20, 2009: 10-night Southern Caribbean featuring Panama, featuring Bob Feller, Cito Gaston, Frank Howard, Stan Bahnsen and Bill Russell.
  • Jan. 16, 2010: 7-night Western Caribbean, featuring Hector Lopez, Ken Griffey Sr., Stan Bahnsen, Jeff Torborg, and Cookie Rojas.
  • Feb. 6, 2010: 7-night Western Caribbean; featuring Tony Oliva, Jim Fregosi, Rudy May, Stan Bahnsen and Ed Kranepool.
  • March 6, 2010: 7-night Eastern Caribbean, featuring Amos Otis, Stan Bahnsen, Vida Blue, Rennie Stennet and Rico Petrocelli.
  • April 3, 2010: 7-night Eastern Caribbean; featuring Stan Bahnsen, Tony Taylor, Gorman Thomas and Randy Hundley
Players are subject to change without notice.

For more information on this visit http://www.msccruisesusa.com/specialcruises/theme-cruises