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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Military Personnel Eligable for Cruise Discounts

In honor of Memorial Day, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a promotion throughout May that allows active and retired military personnel to book up to three “Fun Ship” staterooms at discounted rates for themselves and their friends and family members.

Reservations must be made between May 1-31, 2010, to qualify for this special offer, which is available in conjunction with a wide range of three- to eight-day “Fun Ship” departures through April 30, 2012, including voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Canada and New England.

Rates start at $219 per person for three- and four-day cruises; $299 per person for five-day voyages; $389 per person for six-day departures; $439 per person for seven-day voyages; and $549 per person for eight-day sailings. Voyages operate from 12 convenient year-round U.S. homeports along the east and west coasts and Gulf of Mexico, as well as seasonal departures from Seattle, New York and San Diego.

The promotion is valid for individual bookings only, availability is capacity controlled and this promotion cannot be combined with other discount offers such as resident or senior rates or past guest promotions. Eligible military personnel must sail to take advantage of this offer. Fare code PM1, PM2, or PM4 must be requested for the military guest’s cabin and PM3 for the two additional cabins during the reservations process. Military personnel must provide proof of service. Certain other restrictions apply.

Carnival is the world’s most popular cruise line, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating three- to 15-day voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Bermuda, and Europe. The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2012.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.

For more information about Carnival Cruise Lines visit the recently updated Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine profile on Carnival.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Only 3 Days Left in Viking River Cruises Sale

Viking River Cruises, the world’s largest river cruise company, offers scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China and Egypt. The company has been honored multiple times as the top river cruise line on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” and Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards as well as recognized as the World’s Leading River Cruise Operator at the World Travel Awards.And at the moment, Viking River Cruises are offering amazing deals in their 2010 Sale on all 2010 itineraries (or your can book a 2011 itinerary with a generous Early Booking Discount) in which you will receive:
  • Incredible 2-for-1 pricing on every river cruise itinerary
  • A discount of up to 2-for-1 on international air
  • Complimentary wine with onboard dinners

But there are only 3 days left in this sale as the 2010 Sale expires April 30, 2010 and the 2011 Early Booking Discount expires May 28, 2010.

On a Viking River Cruise everything is included – from deluxe accommodations, to all onboard meals, daily shore excursions, cultural enrichment activities and free shipwide wireless access on all ships in Europe, Russia, Ukraine and China.

Contact Viking River Cruises at 1‑877‑668‑4546 (1‑877‑66VIKING) toll-free or visit the company online at http://www.vikingrivercruises.com.

Or, for the latest on Viking River Cruises in Eastern Europe take a look at the latest news entry at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise News.

Singing at Sea with the “Stella Maris“ International Vocal Competition

Following last year’s major success, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ flagship, MS EUROPA in cooperation with eight prestigious international opera houses, will be hosting their second annual classical music competition at sea.

The “Stella Maris“ International Vocal Competition will bring together up-and-coming young singers from the most renowned opera houses in the world, which include: the Royal Opera House London, Bavarian State Opera Munich, The Canadian Opera Company Toronto, Accademia Teatro alla Scala Milan, Hamburg State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Merola Opera Program San Francisco Opera and the Zurich Opera House. “Stella Maris” is the highlight of a total of 11 music cruises aboard the EUROPA this year. The competition will occur on board a 10-day Middle Eastern cruise departing from Istanbul, Turkey on November 6 and ending in Aqaba, Jordan on November 16, 2010.

Under the direction of Canadian tenor Michael Schade, a jury of famous personalities in the classical music field has been compiled for the 2010 competition. This year’s jury members include:

· Christina Scheppelmann (Director of Artistic Operations, Washington National Opera)

· Daniel Goodwin (Director Marketing & Media, Deutsche Grammophon)

· Martin Engstroem (Director, Verbier Festival in Switzerland)

· Michael Schade (Tenor and Artistic Director of “Stella Maris“)

The distinguishing feature of “Stella Maris” is that the audience determines the winner of the cash prize worth €15,000. This prize, generous compared to others in the world of classical music, is provided by the cultural foundation Hauck & Aufhaeuser. The jury will decide on the recipients of the additional prizes, which include: a guest engagement at the Washington National Opera, a concert at the Verbier Festival and a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon.

While the performances are the highlights of this itinerary, guests will also enjoy excursions and stops in the following ports along the musical route: Istanbul/Turkey, Antalya/Turkey, Paphos/Cyprus, Tartus/Syria, Beirut/Lebanon, Port Said/Egypt, Hurghada/Egypt, and Aqaba/Jordan. This 10-day itinerary starts at $6,570 per person/based on double occupancy for a suite.

For information on this itinerary visit www.stella-maris-competition.com

For another competition, also aboard the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ flagship, MS EUROPA, take a look at our FREE COMPETITION - Win your own copy of GOURMET DELIGHTS ON THE SEVEN SEAS where you can win an exquisite, coffee table cookbook packed with recipes from Stefan Wilke, the executive chef of the MS Europa.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stranded Vacationers Discover the Joys of Cruise Ship Travel

Further to our blog post A Better Way to Cross the Atlantic where we pointed how flight passengers found a more relaxing way to cross the pond in the wake of the flight cancellations over the past few weeks, we are discovering that it is not just passengers trying to cross the Atlantic that have found a better way to get to their vacation destinations.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has been doing its share to help British travellers stranded abroad by the recent volcanic eruptions. Three of her cruise ships picked up holidaymakers in Spain and the Canary Islands and brought them home in comfort. Balmoral collected one extra passenger in La Coruna in Spain, Boudicca added another eight people to her manifest in Almeria, while Black Watch, cruising the Canary Islands, helped five people in Tenerife, two in Lanzarote and one in Madeira to make it home in the absence of any flights.

Additionally, the 257 passengers who had been on a Caribbean cruise on Fred. Olsen’s other ship – Braemar – and were delayed due to their charter flight being unable to return to the UK, were finally brought home safely on Thursday 22nd April, after spending several nights in hotels on the island, courtesy of the cruise line.

Marketing Director, Nigel Lingard, said: “We are very pleased that all our passengers are now safely home – and delighted that we were able to “offer a lift” to a number of our countrymen stranded by the flight cancellations. Clearly there is a lot to be said for ocean travel in these days of uncertain flights!”

Friday, April 23, 2010

Best-Kept Cruise Secret – Customized Private Shore Excursions

Cruising with thousands of people from various backgrounds is a wonderful experience. You meet interesting travelers and share stories along the way. However, taking the same shore excursion with hundreds of people in each port city perhaps does not suit every cruise passenger.

Where can you enjoy an alternative travel experience which does not require you to share it with busloads of other cruise passengers? The answer: through the local wisdom of your very own private tour guide.

A private tour guide enables you to experience their home city in a unique way. Tour guides can even create a customized shore excursion to your personal interests. One such company providing easy access to dependable tour guides in over 400 cities across 135 countries is www.ourexplorer.com .

Take your own full day private tour in Chile and get all the sights, travel Dublin with a common hop on – hop off bus tour with a singer and poet guide and experience more than your fellow passengers – from Luxor to Victoria - Anchorage to Cape Town, this is truly an interesting alternative to the usual offerings on board ship.

OurExplorer wwas established in 2008 with now professional guides in 135 countries worldwide. OurExplorer is the only website recommended to professional guides by WFTGA.org (World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations).

For general information about shore excursions, take a look at the Shore Excursions advice page at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Still more deals- this time with MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is offering Double Aeroplan Miles on its new 2010 Canada/New England fall foliage cruises booked between April 1 and May 15, 2010.

There are a variety of twelve new itineraries ranging from six to 19-nights with cruises from New York City and Quebec City from September 22 to October 23, 2010. Guests on these inaugural sailings will discover the vibrant colors of autumn on MSC Cruises’ inaugural fall foliage sailings onboard MSC Poesia.

Explore the colonial history of the New England coast, experience the French charm of Quebec, and enjoy the quaint beauty of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia on spectacular

Aeroplan Members taking advantage of this special Double Miles offer can earn up to 2,000 Aeroplan Miles:

• 1 to 6-night cruise: 500 miles
• 7-night cruise: 1,000 miles
• 8-night or more cruise: 2,000 miles

To qualify, Aeroplan Members need to provide their Aeroplan Number when booking a cruise.

For more information about MSC Cruises take a look at the recently updated MSC Cruises profile atProw's Edge Cruise Magazine or visit the offical MSC Cruises web site about this offer at www.MSCCruisesUSA.com/aeroplan.

In the Footsteps of History with Cruise West

For those who have discovered the joys of river cruising (it doesn't all have to do with the big mega ships in the Caribbean) Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, sails on two of the West’s mightiest rivers with the seven-night River Voyage of Discovery from April through October.

Commencing and ending in Portland, Oregon, the cruise traces nearly a 1,000 miles of the famed expedition along the mostly pristine and wild Columbia and Snake Rivers. From the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge – carved by great floods thousands of years ago -- to the towering black pinnacles of basalt to the engineering accomplishments of the locks and dams that make these two waterways vital shipping lanes, the cruise views blend natural wonders with manmade marvels.

Throughout the cruise, the Pacific Northwest's pioneer history is brought to life with a special series of included excursions, knowledgeable local guest speakers, and narration and presentations by the onboard Exploration Leaders. In addition, guests can look forward to an enhanced array of delicious food and wine choices through the line’s Palate program.

Excursions include a motor coach tour to breathtaking Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon; a jet boat up Hells Canyon past 7,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs; wine tasting in historic Walla Walla, renowned for producing some of the finest wine in Washington state; and an excursion to Astoria to visit the Lewis & Clark National Historic Park and the site of Fort Clatsop -- where the explorers spent a hard winter by the Pacific Ocean.

The River Voyage of Discovery cruise offers Saturday departures on the 96-guest Spirit of '98 that was designed to emulate an early steamer with carved wooden cabinetry, plush floral upholstery, and a Grand Salon complete with a full bar and old-world charm. Sunday departures are on the 84-guest Spirit of Discovery that offers ample outside deck space for optimum viewing.

The line is including a free pre-cruise hotel stay for all departures June through August 2010. Rates start at $2,999 per person, double occupancy.

For more information on Cruise West take a look at the Cruise West profile at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine or visit the official Cruie West web site at www.cruisewest.com/

A Better Way to Cross the Atlantic

While the problems with volcanic ash clouds hovering over Europe didn't actually send stranded passengers dashing to the nearest cruise ship in their thousands - it is true that some tourists have been made to think of the alternatives to air travel.

With this in mind, striking while the iron is hot, cruise lines like SeaDream Yacht Club are quickly drawing attention to their transatlantic voyages.

As Bob Lepisto, President of SeaDream Yacht Club – upscale operator of elegant but casual seagoing adventures – says “Jets are fine if you are in a hustling hurry but a leisurely, blue water sail is a delightful alternative not to be missed.”

So, with a smile and an idea whose time has come, Bob calls attention to his twin, mega-yacht cruisers – SeaDream I and II – that will soon journey on lazy eastbound transatlantic voyages from the Caribbean to Europe – the old fashioned way.

SeaDream II departs Bridgetown, Barbados April 25 for a 12-day transatlantic sailing to Malaga, Spain. Those lazy days at sea are interrupted at Funchal, Madeira for an overnight pleasure stop.

SeaDream I departs San Juan, Puerto Rico April 30 for a similar 13-day voyage and a morning-evening stop at Funchal before she arrives at Malaga.

And here’s the best part: Fares start at SeaDream’s special "Book Today and Save" rate which is only $2,299 per person.

Frankly a much more pleasant way to travel across the Atlantic.

Bob Lepisto notes that SeaDream has already experienced an up-tick in bookings from travelers who have cited the volcanic ash cloud as a reason for sailing with SeaDream.

For more information about SeaDream Yacht Club take a look at the recently updated SeaDream profile at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine or visit the official SeaDream Yacht Club at www.seadreamyachtclub.com/

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Savings for Cruise Passengers

In the wake of our last blog about Savings with Regent Seven Seas cruises comes news of some special deals from Voyages of Discovery.

Voyages of Discovery, specializing in cultural cruises, are offering outside cabins for the price of inside cabins.

Only a few cabins remain on many cruises, so this offer has to end by the end of April due to limited availability.

29/07/2010 In the Wake of the Vikings 23 days from £1995 pp

20/08/2010 A Taste of France 11 days from £999 pp

30/08/2010 Magic of the Norwegian Fjords 8 days from £749 pp

06/09/2010 Grand Iberia & Italy 18 days from £1319 pp

25/10/2010 North African Treasures 13 days from £1199 pp

06/11/2010 In Search of Ancient Civilisations 13 days from £1199 pp

Passengers can expect breathtaking scenery, rich histories, fascinating landmarks both on shore and onboard. Plus, if you’d prefer not to fly, many of the cruises listed have the added advantage of being no-fly cruises, sailing round-trip from Harwich.

Expert guest speakers and a 4-star smaller ship will bring you closer to many of Europe’s most spectacular, though often less well traveled destinations. You will share the enriching experience with no more than 650 like-minded passengers in complete comfort and convenience.

Click here for an overview of Voyages of Discovery at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, or visit the official Voyages of Discovery web site at www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk .

2-for-1 Fares, Free Air and Free Shore Excursions

It doesn't get much better than this - as Regent Seven Seas offers super savings on select 2010 Europe cruises.

Limited space remains on an array of cruises to the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Black Sea, Holy Land, Scandinavia and Russia.

Rates for seven-day cruises start at $5,550 per person. Guests who book by June 30 will receive bonus savings of up to $1,000 per person. Fares include free round-trip air from 22 cities, free unlimited shore excursions, open bars throughout the ships, and open-seating, gourmet dining with no surcharges. Staff gratuities, airline fees and government taxes are also included in the fare. Business Class Air Upgrades are available from $999 per person.

A handful of suites remain on the following cruises:

Eastern Mediterranean – Six cruises showcase the best of the Aegean and Adriatic, including idyllic Greek Isles and the Dalmatian Coast resorts:

June 28: 12 nights Istanbul to Rome – Mediterranean Mosaic
July 10: 11 nights from Rome to Venice – Vintage Mediterranean
July 21: 10 nights from Venice to Barcelona – Mediterranean Passage
Aug 7: 12 nights from Rome to Venice – Mediterranean Odyssey
Aug 19: 7 nights from Venice to Athens – Adriatic & Aegean Adventure
Oct 17: 10 nights from Venice to Athens – Mediterranean Rivieras

Western Mediterranean – Four voyages to jet-set yacht harbors and storied ports:

Sept 22: 10 nights from Istanbul to Monte Carlo – Mediterranean Sojourn
Oct 2: 7 nights from Monte Carlo to Rome – Riviera Rendezvous
Oct 9: 12 nights from Rome to Istanbul – Mediterranean Medleys
Oct 27: 12 nights from Athens to Barcelona – Gems of the Mediterranean

Scandinavia and Russia – Four voyages to choose from: Arctic Adventure, 15 nights round-trip from Copenhagen, departing June 19: Russia & the Baltic, 7 nights from Stockholm to Copenhagen, departing July 28; operates in reverse Aug 4 and 21

Black Sea and Holy Land – Cruise the Black Sea, 10 nights from Istanbul to Athens, departing June 11 (operates in reverse Aug 26) or discover Aegean Wonders & Israel, 10 nights from Istanbul to Athens, departing Sept 5

Travelers cruise Europe aboard the award-winning Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, considered among the most luxurious ships afloat. The all-suite, all-balcony vessels are fresh from a multi-million-dollar makeover; rich fabrics and furnishings highlight their sophisticated new décor.

For more information, visit www.RSSC.com or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Scores a Perfect 10 with New Cruise Ship

Bringing the Celebrity Cruises fleet to a total of 10 ships, a special ceremony yesterday marked the transfer of ownership of Celebrity Eclipse from shipbuilder Meyer Werft to Celebrity Cruises.

Proudly displaying the freshly signed ownership documents on the deck of Celebrity Eclipse are (left to right) Lambert Kruse of Meyer Werft, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain, Celebrity Eclipse Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis, Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan, and Meyer Werft CEO Bernard Meyer.

On the heels of a series of promotional activities in Hamburg, Germany, and Southampton, England, the 2,850-guest Celebrity Eclipse will be formally named in ceremonies April 24, and will enter service April 26, presenting a series of sailings roundtrip from Southampton to the Mediterranean, Russia and Scandinavia throughout the summer. The stylish new ship will offer Caribbean sailings from the Port of Miami, Florida, beginning this winter.

For more information on Celebrity Cruises visit the recently updated Celebrity Cruises profile at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine or visit the official Celebrity Cruises web site at www.celebritycruises.com


It's All ABout the Kids with Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line kicks off its Summer Blockbuster event on Monday, April 19, 2010 with a three-day preview for its Latitudes members (past guests) beginning on Friday, April 16, 2010.

One of the big features of this event is that kid’s can cruise for as little as $99 each when booked as third through eight guests on select 2010 sailings for new reservations made now through May 31, 2010.

Families can experience the ultimate summer vacation on any of Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising ships to popular destinations such as Alaska, Canada & New England, Bahamas & Florida, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawai’i and Europe.

“When you're Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line, you get what you want and so do your kids. With plunging waterslides, a two-story Wii wall, and Nickelodeon at Sea, there's something for everyone, no matter what their age,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With Norwegian’s complimentary Kid’s Crew supervised children’s program, parents are able to sneak away to the spa for a few hours or even a romantic dinner. We also offer family-friendly accommodations including interconnecting staterooms and multi-room Suites and Villas.”

On April 24, 2010, Norwegian Jewel will begin offering its exclusive Nickelodeon at Sea activities and shows on board each and every cruise year-round, in addition to all the current on-board programming already offered. This programming will also be available on Norwegian Epic when the ship launches this summer. Hints of Nickelodeon will be discovered ship-wide with programs that include signature Nickelodeon activities, popular characters and interactive game shows the entire family can enjoy together.

Specifically, Nickelodeon will offer its Slime Time Live! and Nick Live! Poolside interactive shows; Story Time with Dora where guests are invited to gather around to hear stories about some of their favorite Dora the Explorer characters; Dora’s Dance Party where kids will join Dora and the Nickelodeon cast to dance and sing along with all of Dora’s favorite party songs; character breakfasts; meet and greets around the ship with Nickelodeon characters; Nickelodeon-themed arts and crafts, along with special enhancements to Norwegian’s Kids Crew programming.

For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, call 866-234-7350, visit www.ncl.com or phone a travel professional.

Norwegian will announce several other promotional offers over the six-week Summer Blockbuster event which ends on May 31.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Last Minute Deals in Greece and the Adriatic Sea

Variety Cruises is unveiling last-minute sales to Greece and the Adriatic Sea. Now through May 30, travelers can save big when booking Aegean Odyssey, Jewels of the Cyclades, Classical Greece and Tales of the Adriatic cruise programs. It’s just one more reason to experience the intimacy and ambiance of small-ship cruising with Variety Cruises!

Classical Greece, Aegean Odyssey and Jewels of the Cyclades
• 50% discount for the second person based on double occupancy.
• No supplement required for single travelers.
• Includes choice of two-nights at a deluxe Athens hotel OR a $140 shipboard credit per person.
Aegean Odyssey: Seven-night cruise including stops in Kusadasi, Turkey and Patmos and Samos islands. Regular fares begin at $1,935 per person. Sale dates: May 7 & 28, June 4, July 23, August 13 & 20, September 3, October 8, 15, 22 & 29.
Jewels of the Cyclades: This seven-night cruise heads southeast of mainland Greece through a collection of charming islands. Regular fares begin at $1,530 per person. Sale dates: April 30, June 4, August 27, October 15, 22 & 29.
Classical Greece: Discover the best of the Aegean Islands, Crete and Continental Greece over seven nights. Regular fares begin at $2,150 per person. Sale dates: June 18, July 9, August 6 & 13, October 15 & 29.

Tales of the Adriatic: New for 2010, this program traverses Venice and the Croatian Coast of the Adriatic Sea. Regular fares begin at $2,690 per person. Sale dates: June 27, July 4 & 11, August 6, 8 & 13.
• Two for one fare – second passenger in a twin cabin sails for free.
• No supplement required for single travelers.

Variety Cruises offers are available for limited number of cabins and do not apply for group bookings. Port charges are excluded from these discounts. All reservations are on request and on first come first served basis. Special is valid for reservation requests made up to May 30, 2010.

For more information see the Variety Cruises profile at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine . For up-to-date availabilities, please contact the reservations department at reservations@varietycruises.com, or call 1.800.319.7776 in the USA and 1.866.944.8498 in Canada or visitthe official Variety Cruises web site at www.varietycruises.com.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More good news for single cruise passengers

On the heels of our last blog post Better Deals for Single Cruise Passengers comes more good news for single cruise passengers.

Single travelers and those traveling alone can experience the fall foliage of Canada/New England cruises on MSC Poesia for new, reduced rates.

Guests who book an interior, oceanview, or balcony stateroom for one on MSC Cruises’ 2010 Canada/New England cruises by August 31, 2010 can save with these new rates.

This special single supplement offer is applicable for Categories 1-11 on MSC Poesia Canada/New England cruises departing from New York and Quebec. Cruise itinerary highlights include:

• 6-night “Maple Leaves & Mansions” cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York. October 23; single rate was $1,078.20 and is now $718.80 [plus $81.40 pp. government fees and taxes (GFT’s)] for a savings of $359.40.
• 7-night “Scenic Splendors of Fall” cruise from New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, and Quebec City, Quebec; Canada, October 2; single rate was $1,258.20 and is now $838.80 (plus $78.50 pp. GFT’s) for a savings of $419.40.
• 10-night “Dazzling Fall Foliage” cruise from New York City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York. September 22; single rate was $1,798.20 and is now $1,198.80 (plus $72.90 pp. GFT’s) for a savings of $599.40.
• 14-night“Autumn Leaves and Lighthouses,” cruise from Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. October 9; single rate was $2,428.20 and is now $1,618.80 per person (plus $129.45 pp. GFT’s) for a savings of $809.40.

Rates are available for residents of the US and Canada; offer is per person, cruise only and subject to availability.

For more information, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

Better Deals for Single Cruise Passengers

No one likes single supplement charges - especially single cruise passengers - and not everyone wants to bunk up with someone else to avoid the extra charges. This has meant that for many, a cruise is out of the question.

While there have been some special offers in the past from various cruise lines to attract the single cruise passengers, they have been few and far between.

That’s why the news from Paul Gauguin Cruises is so welcome.

“We have a number of attractive trade and consumer incentives available to guests sailing on the m/s Paul Gauguin,” Richard Bailey, President of Pacific Beachcomber, SC announced today, “including the waiving of single supplement fees for individual guests sailing on select cruises -- a savings of up to $4,245 for single guests in a balcony stateroom.”

The Paul Gauguin itineraries feature exotic voyages to Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand.

For more information about Paul Gauguin Cruises visit the Prow’s Edge profile of the company at www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-paul-gauguin-cruises.html or visit the official Paul Gauguin Cruises web site at www.pgcruises.com.

Visit the Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine forum for news and views about SINGLE CRUISES FOR THE OLDER GENERATION

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What IS a Luxury Expedition Vessel?

Well, according to the 2010 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Five-Star Expedition Ship MS Hanseatic is exactly that!

The MS Hanseatic was created to provide intensive exploration in the most elegant surroundings for a maximum of 184 guests. Outer cabins measure 237 sq. ft. and suites measure a very comfortable 474 sq. ft. Each cabin features a complimentary TV information network with private e-mail, movies on demand and radio and cruise information. Internet is available in the business center and also in each cabin, at an additional charge.

The ship also has a swimming pool, sauna, whirlpool and fitness center.

A shallow draft and high manoeuvrability allow the ship to enter waters larger cruise vessels cannot reach. Its versatile Zodiacs allow passengers to navigate closely to natural habitats and make shore landings in complete safety.

Onboard experts include a team of experienced scientists, expedition leaders and specialists who guide landings and offer guests the rare opportunity to observe plant and animal life up close. The ship also has warm parkas and rubber boots for all passengers on loan.

For news about two new and unique expeditions aboard the MS Hanseatic to the Northwest Passage and through Kamchatka take a look at the latest Prow's Edge news item at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-news-080410-hapag-lloyd-cruises.html

Or visit the official Hapag-Lloyd Cruises at www.hl-cruises.com

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Something new for cruise passengers visiting Costa Rica

There really is something new for cruise passengers in the Caribbean – the award-winning bird-watching excursion from Rain Forest Aerial Trams Costa Rica Atlantic.

Enthusiasts and novice bird watchers alike are exploring the 1,200-acre rain forest property on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast and its stunning array of birds and other local inhabitants.

The 1,200 acres of rainforest, complete with trails and observation points feature isolated trails that have been especially designed for bird watching. Paved trails allow for noiseless advancement and the placement of camera tripods. Lookout points are perfect for observing raptors and other species.

Expert local guides enlighten guests about the birds in the park. The check list lets each traveler follow along and identify birds sighted in the forest. A ride on the Aerial Tram opens to panoramic views of canopy-dwelling species. The Lodge in the heart of the forest is fantastic for nocturnal observations. At Rain Forest Aerial Trams Costa Rica Atlantic, the reserve averages 365 species of birds in 50 families annually. Observation of migratory birds is optimal in October and November.

Rain Forest Aerial Trams Costa Rica Atlantic is a private reserve that shares a 6.2 mile border with the Braulio Carrillo National Park, 50 minutes from the capital San Jose. The secluded location and protected ecosystems of the park create unparalleled opportunities to observe a variety of exotic birds year-round. The park has twice won the local Audubon Christmas count with groups spotting as many as 403 species in 24 hours.

Enjoy the park’s zip line, guided nature hikes, a Snake Exhibit, a Frog and Butterfly Garden, opportunities to overnight at the Rain Forest Lodge, trekking experiences and family adventures. Recommended clothing is comfortable closed-toe shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses. Don’t forget your binoculars and digital camera!

For more information visit www.rainforestrams.com

For general information about shore excursions, take a look at our blog item Shore Excursion - Finding the Jewels or visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine advice page at http://www.prowsedge.com/cruises-advice-shore-excursions.html and take a look at passenger comments about shore excursions in the Prow's Edge Cruise Forum/ Message Boards

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Making Sure You don't Miss the Games

In some parts of the world, it’s called football. In others, it’s known as soccer. But across the globe, consumers love the sport, which culminates with the FIFA World Cup™. So, to ensure their guests won’t miss a minute of the action, even while vacationing, Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International have obtained rights to air all games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ while at sea in international waters on every ship across the three fleets.

Guests sailing with any of the three cruise lines during the entire series of the matches – airing from June 11 to July 11, 2010 – can watch them in the comfort of their staterooms, and in designated onboard lounges. FIFA World Cup fans can combine a memorable Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International vacation and still cheer on their team with fellow likeminded guests in special onboard programs that include themed activities, food and beverages. On some ships, guests also can participate in onboard tournaments, workshops and other special 2010 FIFA World Cup-themed activities.

Games featured for public viewing will vary by ship itinerary, time zone and demographics.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's all about comfort and luxury - new beds for Oceania Cruises

A lot of us have had a vacation ruined by an uncomfortable bed - and cruises are no exception. We've suffered our fair share of back breaking foam blocks masquerading as a mattress.

But hotels all over the world have been listening to the complaints and the cruise lines are now also following the hotel example, and one of the first to see the mattress as an important element in the comfort of their cruise passengers, Oceania Cruises outfitted their staterooms and suites with “Tranquility Beds” offering the ultimate in pillow-top comfort. Seven years later, the pioneering cruise line has upped the ante with the launching of its new “Prestige Tranquility Beds.”

Each mattress is composed of 400 encapsulated springs in seven zones covered by two inches of memory foam. A two-inch thick, “pillow top” cushion filled with gel and wrapped
in Chamomile-infused fiber tops the bed. The gel top is more luxuriant in feel than conventional foam and chamomile is known to aid in inducing relaxation.

The new Prestige Tranquility Beds will be dressed with 1,000-thread-count, Egyptian cotton linens and a plush down comforter. As an added enhancement, guests in higher-category accommodations can complement their mattress with one of four Prestige Tranquility Pillows. The signature pillows are wrapped in Chamomile-infused fiber and stuffed with goose down, memory foam and gel, memory foam, or hypo-allergenic fiber fill.

Prestige Tranquility Beds will make their debut on the cruise ship Nautica in fall 2010, followed by Regatta, Insignia and the brand new Marina in 2011.

For more information about Oceania Cruises, take a look at the recently updated profile at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine at www.prowsedge.com/cruise-lines-oceania-cruises.html or
for reservations or to order a brochure, contact a travel agent, visit OceaniaCruises.com or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Book about Safety on Cruise Ships

Following our many posts about safety at sea, and our SAFETY AT SEA section at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, news comes now from the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) telling us that ICV Board Member, Commander Mark Gaouette, has had a major book released entitled Cruising for Trouble.

Mark was the former head of Security for Princess Cruise Lines and now serves as a top maritime security official in the Department of Homeland Security.

His book details the many security defects and vulnerabilities of cruise ships, identifies the remedies, and makes the case for their urgent implementation.

Extensively documented and illustrated, Cruising for Trouble exposes the acute vulnerability of cruise ships to piracy, terrorism, and crime, both on the high seas and in domestic and foreign ports-of-call.

Commander Gaouette reveals to cruise passengers the very real security dangers they unwittingly face when they saunter up the gangway of a cruise ship for a carefree holiday.

As we have said many times here at Prow’s Edge, the issue of safety at sea is largely ignored by most cruise publications, and we at Prow’s Edge do not highlight the topic for sensationalism, but because we feel that by being better informed, cruise passengers are more safe.

Commander Gaoutte recounts many actual examples of cruise-ship insecurity that have been swept under the carpet or spun by the cruise industry, from pirate attacks, fires, onboard crime, mass food poisonings and infections, and the mysterious disappearances of cruise-ship passengers.

Commander Caouette’s new book is just another warning sound on the cruise industry horizon for cruise passengers to be aware of what is really going on, and to take measures to be safe.

A must read for anyone thinking of taking a cruise, visit www.greenwood.com or call 1-800-368-6868 to order.

For more about how to be safe at sea, take a look at the Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine pages on safety at sea, including Things You Can Do To Improve Your Safety At Sea

For more information about the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV) please visit their web site at www.internationalcruisevictims.org