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, January 31, 2012

Crystal Cruises Land Options

Matching the host of new developments on board their luxurious cruise ships, Crystal Cruises has also announced a host of things they now offer to do on land.

Besides new experiences on board, Crystal is introducing 20 maiden calls, new itineraries, multi-day overland adventures, pre- and post-cruise land packages and a wealth of new excursions within itineraries. New highlights include:

Luxurious Land Programs:More than 100 new shore excursions in the first six months alone, including:
o Samba-ing in Rio’s Carnival
o Helicoptering over Paris
o Exploring the slow food movement in Bordeaux
o River rafting in Iceland
o Pilgrimage-ing to a Bosnian holy site
o Evening strolling through Copenhagen’s old streets, guided by a traditional night watchman

You Care, We Care: Crystal’s second year of complimentary voluntouring excursions on every cruise spreads more goodwill to new locales, such as:
o Cambodia: Teach children the arts, plus plant a vegetable garden, at an orphanage
o British Columbia: Stock, pack, and distribute food and toys at a local food bank
o Singapore: Help literacy-challenged children to read
o Odessa: Provide assistance to the homeless at a Ukrainian social services center
o South Korea: Bring benevolent support to a home for underprivileged children

For more about Crystal Cruises take a look at the very recent news item at Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine or visit the Crystal Cruises web site.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Arctic Concerns About Cruising

After the latest disaster in Europe with the Costa Concordia of Costa Cruises, would-be cruisers today are becoming a lot more cautious about the safety of the ships they are opting to use to take a cruise - especially when they’re traveling to climatically less inviting areas of the world. Possible cruise ships are now susceptible to a more detailed scrutiny before bookings are made.

The MV ‘Le Boreal’ offering Arctic cruises is no exception.

As far as personal safety is concerned, a technologically-advanced stabilizing system minimizes the effect of rough seas. MV 'Le Boreal' has an ice rating which exceeds that required for these demanding conditions and is equipped with the latest navigation, communications and safety equipment, including a GMDSS emergency communication system and a satellite weather system that receives real-time images of weather and ice conditions.

And as far as environmental issues are concerned, the MV ‘Le Boreal’ is also the most environmentally-friendly ship to sail in Arctic, with cutting-edge technology that includes the most up-to-date waste water system, recycling facilities, and other measures designed to ensure that the ship operates with minimal impact on the environment. Zodiac boats are equipped with fuel efficient 4-stroke engines that meet the strictest environmental standards.

The ship has been “Cleanship” certified by the Bureau Veritas. This label is given to ships whose design and equipment are utilized to control and limit the emission of polluting substances in water and air, and who go beyond the MARPOL convention for waste treatment, anti-fouling or propulsion systems.

Click here for more information about Abercrombie & Kent’s An Arctic Cruise Adventure: Polar Bear Country cruise, or visit the latest Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine News page about this topic.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Aurora Expeditions in Papua New Guinea

Aurora Expeditions have started the new year off with a bang, taking up to 15% off their 2012 expeditions to Papua New Guinea, Australia's closest neighbour. This could mean savings of up to AU$1500 per person!

Papua New Guinea Cruise highlights include:

• Colorful displays of the traditional dance and costume of tghe many diverse cultures of the region

• Glimpses of real, daily life with welcoming local villagers.

• Snorkeling and swimming

• Sea kayak expeditions and explorations

• Local guides showing off the forests and natural wildlife

• Markets full of exquisitely carved souvenirs.

If you happen to be based in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, Aurora Expeditions are also holding information evenings in early February, highlighting their exciting destinations and voyages.

For more information about Aurora Expeditions take a look at the profile about them at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine - Aurora Expeditions or visit their website at www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/

Oceania Crusies and thier new cruise ship

For those of you interested in the wonderful new cruise ships due to set sail, Oceania Cruises was notified by Fincantieri late last week of construction delays and as a result, are now having to reschedule the maiden voyage of its m/s Riviera. Construction on the 1,250-guest ship fell behind schedule when strikes at Fincantieri's shipyard near Genoa, Italy, lasted longer than expected.

The maiden voyage of Riviera has moved from April 24 to May 16, and all guests affected by the delay will be contacted by their travel agents or by Oceania Cruises directly to discuss alternative cruise dates.

The new maiden voyage is a 10-day “Pearls of the Aegean” cruise that includes an overnight aboard ship in Venice before visiting Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Monemvasia, Crete, Santorini, Kusadasi (gateway to Ephesus), Delos, Mykonos and Athens.

Guests booked on affected sailings will have the option of rebooking another cruise and receive a future cruise credit, which ranges from $250 to $1,000 per guest, depending on category of accommodation. In the event guests do not wish to rebook, they will receive a full refund.

For more information on Riviera or Oceania Cruises, or to order a brochure, contact a travel professional, visit www.Oceaniacruises.com or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

Or visit the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine Cruise Lines page all about Oceania Cruises and take a look at the profiles the other cruise lines as well.

About Oceania Cruises
Award-winning itineraries with Oceania Cruises visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the 684-guest Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. The line’s 1,250-guest Marina debuted in January 2011 and will be followed by Riviera – a sister ship – in May 2012.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carnival Corporation

People often assume that the Carnival Cruise Company is exactly the same thing as the Carnival Corporation & plc.

This is not true. In fact, the Carnival Corporation & plc is a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world with an approximate annual income of more than $2 billion.

The cruise lines (plenty of the big names you would be surprised to learn are part of the Carnival Corporation & plc) include:

Carnival Cruise Lines (23 ships)
Princess Cruises (17 ships)
Holland America Line (15 ships)
Costa (15 ships)
P&O Cruises (7 ships)
Cunard (3 ships)
Seabourn (5 ships)
AIDA (8 ships)
P&O Cruises Australia (3 ships)
Iberocruceros (4 ships)

These cruise lines, including some of the most recognized cruise brands in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, offer a wide range of holiday and vacation products to a customer base that is broadly varied in terms of cultures, languages and leisure-time preferences.

With no less than 101 ships, the vessels of the Carnival Corporation & plc can be found in all parts of the world, including Alaska, the Bahamas, the Baltic, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, New England, North Cape, Panama Canal, South America, South Pacific and other worldwide destinations.

Approximate;y 10 news ships are on order. One for Carnival Cruises, 2 for Costa Cruises, 4 for AIDA, 1 for P&O Cruises and 2 for Princess Cruises.

The Carnival Corporation & plc has approximately 85,000 employees worldwide.

Also part of the The Carnival Corporation & plc is the tour company that accentuates many of the existing cruising possibilities - such as the Holland America Princess Alaska Tours in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

For more about these cruise lines take a look at Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Costa Cruise Lines Offers Assurance

Costa Cruise Lines and its parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc, today confirmed their commitment to provide full support to those passengers, crew and families of the victims of the Costa Concordia grounding.

"I give my personal assurance that we will take care of each and every one of our guests, crew and their families affected by this tragic event. Our company was founded on this principle and it will remain our focus,” said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

In this spirit, Costa has been arranging lodging and transportation for affected passengers and crew members to return home. Every passenger and crew member or their family is being contacted and the company has offered its assistance and counseling as needed, and will be addressing personal possessions lost on board.

Costa has also begun the process of refunding all voyage costs including both passenger cruise fares and all costs incurred while on board. Our senior management teams are working together to determine additional support.

“During this time of tragedy, we are doing our very best to provide the needed support to the Costa Concordia passengers, crew and their families,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises.

For news on the other items of interest in the world of cruising, Prow's Edge Cruise magazine offers a wealth of news items at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine News Pages

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Costa Concordia Tragedy Impact on Cruise Bookings

Some 260 of over 1,000 people polled in the aftermath of the running aground of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Tuscany say they are “less likely to take a cruise given the incident”, according to the web’s largest opinion-based community, SodaHead.com.

The results, says SodaHead, demonstrate that the disaster may have a deep impact on the cruise industry. To put this in perspective, with an estimated 18.8 million people cruising in 2010, if 26% were going to change their cruise travel plans based on this disaster, that would mean the industry would see 4.9 million fewer cruisers.

Full results of the poll are available at SodaHead Costa Concordia poll

Of course, voting “less likely” doesn’t mean they won’t be on a cruise this year. A large number of them, come what may, will be will be packing their glad-rags for the usual reasons and head for the Caribbean, Alaska and elsewhere. But the repercussions for the cruise industry are ugly no matter how few decide against a cruise.

Additional findings of the survey show that the respondent’s age had an impact on their vote. While only 14% of respondents between the ages of 25-34 said the tragedy might impact their future cruise plans, a striking 34% of those over the age of 65 said that they are now less likely to cruise and many of the traditional cruisers are from this age group.

With cruise ships becoming ever bigger (some now carrying 6,000 passengers), the tragedy has focused attention on the International Maritime Organization’s new rules for passenger ship safety. A comprehensive package of amendments to the international regulations affecting new passenger ships came into force on 1 July 2010. Increased emphasis is now placed on reducing the chance of accidents occurring and on improved survivability, embracing the concept of the ship as “its own best lifeboat”, capable of returning to port in the event of a major mishap.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Port of Miami

MSC Cruises announced today that PortMiami will be its exclusive homeport for its Caribbean sailings as of fall 2013 pending approval by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners later this month.

MSC is the fastest growing cruise line operating a fleet of eleven cruise ships with its newest ship, the MSC Divina, scheduled to launch May 2012 featuring its ship-within-a-ship concept - the MSC Yacht Club.

Beginning in fall 2013, MSC Cruises, which now homeports out of Port Everglades, will join the PortMiami cruise line-up. The initial term of the agreement is for three years.

“We are very excited to join the impressive roster of cruise lines operating out of PortMiami and look forward to sharing MSC Cruises’ unique style of Mediterranean elegance, international cuisine and white-gloved service with more and more guests,” said Richard E. Sasso, President and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc.

PortMiami Director Bill Johnson said the new MSC service will strengthen Miami’s offerings of luxury cruise brands. PortMiami, known worldwide as the Cruise Capital of the World, handled more than four million passengers in fiscal year 2011, more than any other cruise port in the world.

“For cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and beyond, PortMiami is the port of choice for cruise vacationers--with itineraries to meet every budget and taste,” Johnson said. “MSC is a great addition to our line-up.”

For more about the Port of Miami, from details of the passenger terminals to local attractions, check out the Prow's Edge Port Page on Miami.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Costa Cruises Disaster with Costa Concordia

As our news item at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine News Pages points out, it has never been the role of Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine to dwell on disasters at sea, no matter how large or tragic the event.

As ugly as the news item is, and despite the fact that we are all are aware that disasters can happen on cruises, no matter how wonderful and idyllic the cruise may seem to be, Prow's Edge has never dwelled on these events. Considering the huge number of cruises that are sailing all over the world every day without any bad outcomes, it seems unnecessary to dwell morbidly on such happenings.

This latest disaster with the Costa Concordia off the western coast of Italy late on Friday evening, January 13th is one of the more ugly cruise events to happen in a number of years.

Prow's Edge Cruise magazine has brought you the basic details at the Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine News Pages, but rather than dwelling on this in days to come, suggest that you follow your usual news services for more information.

Our sympathies go to all those involved in this horrendous event.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On Deck with Princess Cruises for the Cure Walk

Since Princess Cruises launched its On Deck for the Cure program in 2007 to help fight breast cancer, thousands of passengers have taken part in the fundraising walks held during the course of each Princess cruise.

Now the Princess Cruises Community Foundation and Susan G Komen for the Cure®/ have announced a new three-year partnership for two research projects supporting the fight against breast cancer.

One of the Foundation-supported research grants, at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), will look at the molecular effects of the chemical BPA on breast cancer, while the other, at Stanford University School of Medicine, will study breast stem cell differentiation.

The projects are funded by the Princess Cruises Community Foundation’s On Deck for the Cure® program, which is a 5K fundraising walk for passengers held during the course of every Princess cruise. The five-kilometer On Deck for the Cure walks around Princess ships’ decks always draw an enthusiastic group of passengers who donate a minimum of $15 to participate, and receive a special hat, and a post-walk appreciation reception.

At the same time, the Foundation has been welcomed into the Komen Million Dollar Council for surpassing this donation milestone.

Further information about the Foundation is available online at www.princess.com/communityfoundation.

For more information about Princess Cruises visit the page dedicated to this cruise line at Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carnival is Cruising with the Stars

Dancing With The Stars Celebrity Dance Pro and Season 13 Champion Karina Smirnoff (shown here) has a new gig – Cruising With The Stars™, a new dance-focused fan cruise.

Cruising With The Stars™ launches from Los Angeles on June 3 on a 7-day excursion to the Mexican Riviera, aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s ship The Splendor. Ports of call are Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.

This inaugural cruise headlines Karina who will be offering all levels of dance and fitness classes on board the ship and inviting both dancers and fans to join her for a full week of celebration following the upcoming DWTS Season 14.

There will be nightly Cruising With The Stars™ cocktail and dance parties, personal Q&A and celeb photo sessions, excursions on shore, all culminating with a spectacular professional dance show.

On Cruising With The Stars™, Karina joins six of America’s champion professional dance instructors and performers Sharon Savoy and Mike Tuttle, Jamie Bayard and Bonnie Marie, and Enio Cordoba and Terryl Jones.

In addition to the unprecedented nearly 60 hours of dance instruction offered on board Carnival’s The Splendor, there will be a limited opportunity to take private lessons with Karina, as well as the other master level instructors.

For your chance to dance with the stars visit www.cruisingwiththestars.net.

For more fun on Carnival Cruise Lines take a look at Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Advice About Cruises

The most important thing about planning a cruise is all the good advice so many people are so keen to hand over to you.

Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine has a whole section of good advice on all sorts of topics. from how to deal with cabin fever to dress codes on your first ever cruise.

Our latest addition is an extra page on how to pack for a cruise and the things you might want to consider. This can be found at • Packing for a Cruise (more)

Other topics include:

• Bringing Alcohol Onboard
• Cabin Fever
• Child Free Cruises
• Choosing a Cabin
• Cold Climate Cruising
• Cruise Dress Codes
• Cruise Etiquette
• Cruise First Aid
• Cruise High Fashion
• Cruise Ship Entertainment
• Cruise Ship Laundry
• Cruise Ship Libraries
• Cruise Ship Officers
• Cruise Vocabulary
• Dealing with Disabilities
• Disembarking
• Early/Late Seating for Dinner
• Food Poisoning
• Healthy Cruising
• Internet on a Cruise Ship
• Jet Lag
• Lifeboats on Cruise Ships
• Medical Preparedness
• Norovirus/Norwalk
• Packing for a Cruise
• Packing for a Cruise (more)
• Phoning from a Cruise
• Rewards Programs
• Safety at Sea
• Saving Money on a Cruise
• Seasickness
• Shore Excursions
• Smoking on Cruise Ships
• Sun and the Topics
• Swine Flu
• Table Assignments
• Tipping on Cruises

If you have any tips or advice of your own, please contact us and leave a message here on the blog.

Friday, January 6, 2012

100th Birthday on Norwegian Sky

Norwegian Sky had a lot to celebrate last week. On January 1, 2012, the ship rang in the New Year and the 100th birthday of Mrs. Zara Holtz.

Mrs. Holtz, originally from Queens, NY, now residing in Fort Lauderdale, FL, was sailing on board Norwegian Sky with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. She was not expecting a birthday celebration on board, especially one as large as this. To help her commemorate her 100th birthday, Norwegian Sky’s more than 2,000 guests were invited to the pool deck for a special sail away party. There, they witnessed Master Ice Carver Ronaldo carve an enormous block of ice into a huge “100.” Then, Mrs. Holtz was brought on stage, presented with a birthday cake and saluted by her fellow guests, officers and crew who sang “Happy Birthday” in her honor.

This celebration came as a complete surprise to Mrs.Holtz and her family. When asked to say a few words to the crowd, she stated that at no point in her life would she have expected to live up to 100 and wished everyone the same. A former travel agent, Mrs. Holtz has traveled a great deal, and she closed her speech by saying she wished everyone could be sailing on their birthday, and if they do, it should only be on board Norwegian Cruise Line.

Following her pool deck celebration, Mrs. Holtz and her family were invited by the Captain, officers and crew to a special birthday dinner in Cagney’s Steakhouse. While dining, Mrs. Holtz thanked Jean-Michel DhĂ©lin, Norwegian Sky’s hotel director, and told him that although she has travelled a lot in the past, Norwegian Sky and her crew provided the very best cruise experience she could recall to date!

For more about Norwegian Cruise Line visit the page dedicated to this cruise line at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

American Cruise Lines on the Mississippi

This is a big year for American Cruise Lines (ACL) with two new itineraries launching in the spring and summer.

The brand new 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi, currently under construction and nearing completion, will take to the Mississippi River and her tributaries early August. Unique seven-night/eight-day cruises will take passengers back to America's glorious steamboating days of the late 1800s.

Packed with new features and amenities such as the largest staterooms and suites in the industry, nightly entertainment, ceiling-to-floor sliding glass doors to spacious private balconies, breakfast service on private balconies, room phones (not available on past Mississippi riverboats) and more, Queen of the Mississippi will be sure to impress. Theme cruises including the Civil War and Mark Twain are available.

This spring, American Cruise Lines will take to Alaska in the comfort of the American Spirit, the newest small ship in Alaska. Specially built to navigate narrow waterways and passages, the American Spirit will bring passengers closer to Alaska's breathtaking wilderness.

Guests can explore the Inside Passage, discovering native culture, extraordinary wilderness and wildlife, and of course, Alaska's gleaming blue glaciers.

Also, exclusive to American Cruise Lines' guests will be privately guided tours of famed Glacier Bay which will feature a park ranger onboard for added insight. New offerings from American Cruise Lines on this particular itinerary include complimentary shore tours and a pre-night hotel stay in Juneau.

ACL is a member of Specialty Cruise Collection/ (formerly known as the Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance)


For more news on ACL’s unique style of small ship cruising visit the American Cruise Lines website and also visit it on Prow’s Edge Cruise Magazine.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cruise the European Waterways

Luxury European cruises are becoming increasingly popular for those looking for something new and different in the world of cruising.

European Waterways feature all inclusive luxury cruises along the inland waterways of nine European countries, along canals, rivers, lakes, lagoons and lochs, offering visitors the chance to experience a truly novel cruise experience.

These increasingly popular hotel barges are prfect for people looking for either an individual cruise with other like-minded people, or for those choosing a whole barge charter for a family or group of friends. The floating hotels glide cover vast parts of Europe and offer fine accommodation, gourmet cuisine, fine wines and views that would be difficult to match anywhere else.

Included on these cruises are tours to castles, chateaux, vineyards, and local markets

European Waterways also offer special theme cruises for those who enjoy a specific sport or hobby. This increasingly popular company is fast building up a reputation for offering
luxury barge cruises to a discerning clientele in search of a truly unique experience.

For more information, take a look at the European Waterways pages at Prow's Edge Cruise Magazine and visit the European Waterways web site.