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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cruise Lines Create Innovative Cuisine

Cruise Lines Create Innovative Cuisine

As you face the turkey left-overs, the turkey fry-up, the turkey sandwiches and the turkey soup, spare a thought for those lucky cruisers who’ll be tucking into the appetizing cruise line cuisine in 2012.

A major trend in shipboard dining is more choice of restaurants and cuisines, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) (see Cruise Lines Redefine Shipboard Dining).

The new larger cruise ships especially reflect this trend. Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas each offer 25 dining options, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic offers more than 20.

Carnival Cruise Lines is investing $500-million in the first phase of a “Fun Ship 2.0” program offering new dining and entertainment choices on 14 ships; Cunard Line is enhancing its well-established dining traditions with new alternative restaurants and more international menus; Disney Cruise Line’s new Disney Dream features Remy, the company’s first-ever premier dining option, created by Michelin two-star chef Arnaud Lallement.

Silversea Cruises has teamed up with the exclusive “Relais & Chateaux L’Ecoles des Chefs” interactive cooking school. Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ “Food, Wine & Spirits Spotlight Series” features partnerships with Napa Valley’s Private Reserve and Tommaso Barletta, proprietor of the “Let’s Get Cooking Culinary Institute.”

In addition to its shipboard Culinary Arts Centers which feature a wide range of culinary enrichment programs, Holland America Line has introduced new dishes created by the celebrity chefs of the line’s Culinary Council. Princess Cruises has partnered with the Mighty Leaf Tea Company to create the “Leaves Tea Lounge and Library” on the Grand Princess.

For more information about CLIA and cruise ship dining, please visit www.cruising.org.

There is much more about cruises and cruise lines at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favorite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cruise Lines Redefine Shipboard Dining

.... and the 16 million vacationers who are expected to have cruised this year would not have it any other way and don’t care a hoot about those extra pounds.

Research by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) suggests that the latest trends in shipboard restaurants and menus, innovative culinary experiences with celebrity chefs, the expanding choice in dining venues, exciting brand partnerships, healthy options, food-related enrichment programs and culinary themed voyages are exactly what the public craves.

The latest study of consumer attitudes and intentions from CLIA revealed that over half of experienced cruisers ranked fine dining as the number one benefit of a cruise vacation.

In a 2011 survey of 1,000 CLIA travel agents, dining was ranked as the second most important factor in choosing a cruise line, behind accommodations; 75 percent of agents said dining is gaining in importance among their clients. Among consumers, 75 percent are looking for new and different dining experiences onboard ships but 65 percent also want traditional dining. And, only 10 percent of cruisers worry that they will gain weight on their vacation.

How far can the cruise lines go? For an over-the-top experiences, take a look at Crystal Cruises’ seven-course extravaganza once or twice a year created by Michelin-starred chefs – in 2012, Heinz Beck, with multiple Michelin starred restaurants on his resume, with impossible-to-purchase wine pairings – for approximately $1,000 per person. By the way, Crystal also announced that its ships will go “all-inclusive” next year, offering complimentary wines and premium spirits, open bars in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities.

For more information about CLIA and cruise ship dining, visit www.cruising.org.

There is much more about cruises and cruise lines at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favorite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cunard Flagship Queen Mary 2 Gets Refit

As if she wasn’t grand enough! Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 has returned to her Southampton homeport after a major refurbishment that will prepare her to welcome guests for her upcoming luxury cruise vacations.

The Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss undertook the refurbishment, with work undertaken in all staterooms and suites, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the Queens Grill and Princess Grill Restaurants, the Commodore Club, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar (shown here), Sir Samuel’s Bar and Lounge and the children’s Play Zone. The popular Golden Lion Pub also was completely redesigned.

A special new portrait of Her Majesty The Queen was unveiled in honour of her role in launching Queen Mary 2 in 2004. The commissioned oil painting - which will be displayed in the Grand Lobby - depicts The Queen during her final visit to Queen Elizabeth 2 in Southampton on 2 June 2008, and was painted by Gail Graham, an art director of The European magazine. This will be the second portrait of Her Majesty on board a Cunard ship. A specially-commissioned portrait of Her Majesty also hangs in the Grand Lobby of the Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, which she also launched in October 2010.

Thousands of workers replaced the equivalent of almost ten football fields of carpet and manufacturing about 18 miles of fabric into over 6,000 individual items in Queen Mary 2’s 14-day refit.

For more information about Cunard Line visit www.cunard.com.

There is more about all sorts of cruises at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favourite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Grand Prix de Monaco Tour for Silversea Guests

There is a special treat in store for guests sailing on the nearly sold-out Silver Spirit voyage of May 24, 2012. Silversea is offering an optional two-day "70th Grand Prix de Monaco" land package.

Guests will have the opportunity to experience the thrill of a Formula One race at the Monaco Grand Prix during the ship's overnight visit on May 26. On Saturday, guests will enjoy witnessing the time trials (practice runs for the drivers and their cars) from Tribune K reserved seats. In the evening, guests attend an invitation-only cocktail reception hosted by the ship's captain and a former Grand Prix driver, followed by a themed dinner of Mediterranean and Monegasque cuisine served in La Terrazza. On Sunday, guests return to their same reserved seats for the exciting final race.

The tour includes escorted transfers and a gift package of spectator essentials featuring Bushnell binoculars, an official "70th Grand Prix de Monaco" program, souvenir drawstring bag, hat, seat cushion and protective earplugs.

This special two-day, mid-voyage land adventure (priced at $1,799 per guest) is only offered on Silver Spirit's May 24 voyage (#5213), sailing from Barcelona to Rome.

For more information on Silversea Cruises visit www.silversea.com.

There is more about many other cruises at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favourite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Norwegian Cruise Line Jumpstarts Wave Season

Norwegian Cruise Lines has jumped the gun on the cruise industry’s traditional Wave Season – the period between January and March when savvy cruisers cash in on great cruise deals.

Traditionally there’s more than low prices on offer. To celebrate Wave Season cruise lines sweeten the pot with mouth-watering perks, among them credits for shipboard spending, free cabin/suite upgrades, free airfares and early booking discounts.

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a jumpstart on the savings by launching its “Norwegians Take it to the Next Level” sales event. All new cruise reservations on all ships booked through March 31, 2012, will receive a free upgrade within the same stateroom category, along with e-coupons providing on-board savings worth $400 (for sailings taking place before December 31, 2012). Once booked and checked in online, guests will receive electronic coupons for spa treatments, internet minutes and a complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant.

Through December 18, 2011, as a special bonus, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering cruisers the opportunity to “take it to the next level” with a mini-suite for the price of a balcony; balcony staterooms for the price of an oceanview, and oceanview staterooms for the price of inside staterooms on all ships and destinations. Cruise deposits during this time for sailings of three days or longer are reduced by 50 percent.

For more details on the “Norwegians Take it to the Next Level” sales event, including promotion details, visit www.ncl.com.

There is much more about cruises and cruise lines at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favourite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Monday, December 12, 2011

Costa Cruises Leads the Way in Environmental Social Fields

According to the sixth edition of its annual sustainability report covering fiscal year December 2009 through November 2010, Costa Cruises has made some great gains in both the environmental and social fields.

Improvements include an increase of 26 percent in the proportion of garbage (paper, plastic, glass, metal) recycled in ports, a reduction of approximately 11 percent in fuel consumption, a reduction of over 34 percent in the production of ozone-depleting substances from refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. In July 2010 Costa Cruises, through its partnership with World Wildlife Fund Italia, became the first and only cruise line in the world to participate in the pilot REPCET project, a reporting system aimed at reducing collisions between ships and whales.

Costa Cruises not only operates in accordance with prevailing environmental laws, the line sets more ambitious objectives through a management and control system that goes beyond the scope of mandatory requirements of local, national and international regulations, and proactively seeks solutions to improve environmental protection.

For more information about this and other tidbits about Costa Cruises take a look at the latest news entry for Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cruise Lines Offer Dining and Beverage Packages

Is this a glimpse of a growing trend in future cruising? Cruise lines are now increasingly offering dining and even beverage packages at onboard specialty restaurants.

With so many onboard dining options, Royal Caribbean International offers guests seven dining packages to enjoy the variety of specialty restaurants available aboard select ships. Guests can take advantage of the new specialty dining packages, which range from $50 to $120 per guest (saving at least 25 percent compared to the sum of the individual restaurants’ cover charges).

For instance, guests aboard Radiance of the Seas may choose the Radiance Dining Package, which includes Chops Grille, Giovanni’s Table, Izumi and Samba Grill for $70 per guest.

For additional information on these packages or to make reservations, call your travel agent, or visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com

Meanwhile, Oceania Cruises has introduced two new beverage packages on voyages beginning in 2012. While all Oceania Cruises guests will continue to enjoy unlimited complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees and teas on every sailing, they are also being offered beverage packages.

House Wine and Beer, priced at $29.95 per guest, per day, includes house wine by the glass and beer with lunch and dinner in any dining venue or via room service. The second option, Open Bar, priced at $49.95 per guest, per day, includes beer and premium house wine by the glass and most beverages on the bar menu. Guests can also order spirits and beer through room service.

For more information, visit www.OceaniaCruises.com, contact a professional travel agent or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

There is more about all sorts of cruises at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favourite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crystal Cruises Snaps Up Master Photographers

Bring along your camera – anything from that vintage art deco style Kodak Baby Brownie to the latest digital creation – and join award-winning Master Photographers on 11 Crystal Cruises sailings in 2012.

“The Master Collection” line-up consists of top-tier professional portrait photographers who have the distinction of being Fellows (highest certification possible) of the British Institute of Professional Photographers (BIPP) and the Master Photographers Association (MPA).

Travelers will be able to arrange private photography sessions aboard Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity, or at exotic destinations on land with pros renowned for their portraiture. Individuals, couples, or families/groups can opt for different wardrobe, locations, and activities to customize their shoots.

One Master Photographer will be on each of the following sailings: January 18 LA-Sydney; February 6 Miami-Rio; February 7 Sydney-Singapore; March 3 Buenos Aires-Miami; March 13: Hong Kong-Osaka; March 31 Osaka-LA; May 8 NY-London; July 8 Copenhagen-Stockholm; September 5 London-NY; October 12 Athens-Venice; October 31 NY-LA;

The Master Photographer will also host an informal talk giving trade tips and insight into their life and work, as well as mentor staff photographers while aboard.

To glean more information and for cruising on Crystal, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

Read all about all sorts of cruises at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favourite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Star-studded Lineup on American Queen

The entertainment line-up for the inaugural season of the Steamer American Queen, including the line’s inaugural season Riverlorian, is going to be a smash-hit.

Top entertainers will bring down the house in the American Queen’s palatial Grand Saloon night after magical night. Every evening, guests will be treated to a different celebration of America’s best music, from Broadway hits to Dixieland Jazz, big band to bluegrass, ragtime to rock and roll. Showboat-style cabaret acts and old-fashioned radio shows add variety and charm to the evening lineup.

The entertainment in the Grand Saloon will have guests’ toes tapping, but the enrichment and historical aspects will have their senses piqued. As the American Queen carries forward the 100+ yearlong legacy of the fabled Delta Queen Steamboat Company, it is only fitting that a much-loved Delta Queen veteran serve as the inaugural Riverlorian. Mary Charlton, who has served as Riverlorian aboard the Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen in the past is returning in her starring role.

Great American Steamboat Company offers a variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to ten nights, and with fares beginning at $995 per guest offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required.

In addition to the best early booking bonuses in the industry, the ‘Steamboating Plus’ program offers a complimentary luxury hotel stay before or after sailing along with transfers, a welcome brunch and much more.

For more information on the Great American Steamboat Company call 888-749-5280 or visit www.GreatAmericanSteamboatCompany.com .

There is more about all sorts of cruises at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine, your favourite Internet cruise magazine source at www.ProwsEdge.com