Princess announced today that three more ships have been scheduled to become Medallion Class this year, setting things up so that next fall all Princess ships in the Caribbean will have the Ocean Medallion capability activated. Royal Princess will also be the first Medallion Class ship on the West Coast sailing in Alaska and Mexico.
Details appeared in the January 22 issue of Cruise News Daily.
The national news media continues to fret over a growing number of TSA screeners not showing for work. The last few days they have practically beside themselves worried that so many won't show up the government will need to shut down the national air transportation system.
If you're worried about getting to your cruise in this “horrible” mess and wondering how many hours in advance you'll have to check in, don't.
Each day the TSA issues a press release with figures from the day before, and honestly, things don't look that bad.
Details appeared in the January 22 issue of Cruise News Daily.
The news media doesn't seem to want to cover it, but lots of companies are offering concessions and assistance to federal workers who aren't receiving paychecks due to the partial shutdown of the government. One of those companies is Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
Federal workers (and their families) can have a free buffet lunch on either of the line's ships in Palm Beach beginning today.
Details appeared in the January 21 issue of Cruise News Daily.
Who doesn't love to eat? And lately more and more people have been combining that love with travel and they now travel to eat. Because culinary travel has become so popular, more and more cruise lines and tour operators are getting into it.
But, of course, Windstar Cruises has the inside track there because they've partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an annual series of culinary-themed cruises. Because of the partnership, these cruises have itineraries designed to highlight interesting local cuisine and have enriching culinary programming aboard.
Below is the listing of this year's cruises in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation. The complete story appeared in the January 18 issue of Cruise News Daily.
February 16, 2019 – Costa Rica & Panama Canal, 7 days aboard Star Breeze
Chef Jamilka Borges
JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumna & 2015 Rising Star Chef Semifinalist
Restaurant: Independent Brewing Company & Hidden Harbor in Pittsburgh, PA.
Chef Jamilka Borges, born in Puerto Rico, has a genuine connection to the region and will guide guests on a gastronomic journey through exotic Costa Rica and the Panama Canal that combines incredible food experiences with amazing natural and man-made wonders. Highlights include learning about the area from a local on board Naturalist; making a Zodiac wet-landing directly on the beach for a guided nature walk; hiking through Manuel Antonio National Park in search of abundant animal life; ziplining high above the Quepos jungle floor past monkeys, sloths, and toucans; exploring Golfo Dulce’s intense rainforest landscape; and enjoying a narrated daylight transit through the massive Panama Canal, one of the world's most stunning feats of engineering, on a small ship that gets you close to it all.
March 16, 2019 – Pop Culture Kings of Asia, 11 days aboard Star Legend
Chef Judy Ni
JBF Chef Boot Camp Alumna
Restaurant: Baology in Philadelphia
Chef Judy Ni brings her experience of being raised by traditional Taiwanese parents (and grandparents), who passed on their culture and culinary traditions to her while growing up in the United States. Chef Ni will share her unique culinary and cultural perspective on this voyage of a lifetime through this crucial corner of Asia featuring Japan, China, and South Korea. Spend time in Kyoto, one of the most traditional cities in Japan, and admire the beautiful pottery of Karatsu. Overnight in Busan for more time to see the five UNESCO sites in the area. Cruise the Inland Sea, stopping for famed art pieces in Uno port, mixing equal parts pop culture and cultural heritage throughout the journey.
June 22, 2019 – Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Rivieras, 7 days aboard Wind Surf
Chef & Restaurateur Jamie Leeds
JBF Chef Boot Camp Alumna
JL Restaurant Group; Hank’s Oyster Bar, Pasta Bar, & Cocktail Bar, Washington, DC
Chef and Restaurateur Jamie Leeds, owner of JL Restaurant Group, will be seeking out the freshest French oysters as she sails the world’s premier yachting playgrounds from Rome to Barcelona aboard the world’s largest sailing ship. These stunning ports string together like perfect pearls each shining with its own individuality. Enjoy charming villages with chef-led visits to lively markets to gather produce, herbs, fish and more to showcase in cooking demonstrations and a gala evening meal. Sailing into secluded harbors to intimate beaches delivers the mystique and magic of the Rivieras that only small ship cruising reveals.
September 24, 2019 – West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza, 10 days aboard Star Legend
Chef Duskie Estes
JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumna; Co-Awardee, 2009 Rising Star Chefs for Sustainability
Restaurants: Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Bovolo, and Black Pig Meat Co., Sonoma County
The West Coast of America is the birthplace to many important food movements, innovations, and chefs, ideal for expert-led expedition to the heart of diverse, regional food scenes. Award-winning Chef Duskie Estes is the perfect culinary guide as she was born in San Diego, raised in San Francisco, and spent eight years in Seattle working for JBF-awarded Restauranteur Tom Douglass before moving to Sonoma County, where she is celebrated as a chef and avid farmer/advocate for “snout to tail” cooking. Ten days fly by visiting cosmopolitan ports including two immersive days with an overnight call in Portland; a full day call to hip Seattle; coastal cruising down to San Francisco for a second overnight with the opportunity to visit the Napa Valley; followed by quaint Monterey; and wrapping up in San Diego. Join Chef Duskie to taste wine in Sonoma and Oregon’s Willamette Valley, indulge in local food truck scenes to fine dining, farmers’ markets to cooking classes that puts cruises at the heart of the action. This brand new cruise is for people who have a taste for life and a thirst for adventure.
October 14, 2019 – Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast, 8 days aboard Star Breeze
Chef Chris Pandel
JBF: Chef Boot Camp Alumnus
Restaurant: Swift & Sons, Cold Storage, and Dutch & Doc’s in Chicago
Chris Pandel has a love affair with Italy and Italian-American heritage, so who better to explore the shores of Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, discovering the charm of Venice, the magnificence of Rome, and the vast beauty of the Dalmatian Coast? Wander down the ancient cobblestone streets of Taormina, travel up the sparkling fjord to Kotor, and bask in the allure of small ship cruising as the ship anchors in the heart of Old Town Dubrovnik while larger ships only pass by. From remarkable small ports such as Rovinj to timeless cities like Venice and Rome, discover the Mediterranean’s most charming and historic destinations in one incomparable voyage.
Rock Stars are known for living large. Since Virgin Voyages wanted to convey the message that you are living large in their top-of-the-line suites, they will be called RockStar Suites, and you will indeed be living large aboard Scarlet Lady in these huge, well-appointed suites.
The complete story appeared in the January 16 edition of Cruise News Daily.
One of the Massive RockStar Suites aboard Scarlet Lady
Rendering courtesy of Virgin Voyages. All rights reserved. May not be copied or used without express permission.
Summer in Alaska and British Columbia is approaching (eventually), and Seabourn is finalizing their plans for their 2019 season there. That includes assembling their skilled expedition team that will take passengers on the optional Ventures by Seabourn when they go ashore in ports.
Members of the handpicked expedition team for Seabourn’s 2019 season in Alaska & British Columbia include:
Juan Carlos Restrepo, Expedition Leader – With a passion for the great outdoors and adventure, Juan has explored all the continents and oceans of the world. He began his career in the expedition industry as a Dive Master on luxury yachts and then took his love for expedition to the Polar Regions.
Chris Srigley, Expedition Leader – Chris spends up to nine months a year on expedition ships, including full seasons in Antarctica and the Arctic. Beyond his duties on the expedition team, Chris serves as a Polar Bear Guard, advancing landing parties and keeping a watchful eye while guests experience the natural wonders around them.
Nicki D’Souza, Assistant Expedition Leader – Nicki puts her years of experience and passion for travel to good use assisting guests with shore excursions all over the world. As an expedition leader with many maiden calls behind her, she has led voyages along the West Coast of Africa, South America, Europe and Asia.
Natasha Hanson, Assistant Expedition Leader / Lecturer – An avid outdoorswoman Natasha has guided kayaking and hiking excursions in remote areas of the world. As a general naturalist with over a decade of experience in the Polar Regions, she has shared her knowledge with guests of various expedition ships.
Adam Jenkins, Assistant Expedition Leader / Lecturer – Adam has engaged in myriad adventures at sea, including single-handedly sailing a 27-foot sloop down the Pacific Coast and back up the East Coast to Nova Scotia. He long ago found his calling leading expeditions and working with adventure travelers and scientists.
Lisa Baldwin, Lecturer – Enthralled by the ocean, Lisa is a competitive ocean swimmer, free diver, naturalist, and traveler who enjoys educating others about the natural environment. Her extensive work as a field biologist and passion for health research gives her a unique ability to be open, friendly and relate to guests on all levels.
Nicki Bunting, Kayak Guide – Nicki credits her Olympian grandmother and competitive sailor father for her adventurous spirit and love of the ocean. An historian, photographer, naturalist, and thrice Tour Guide of the Year in Skagway, Alaska, she has lectured extensively on local and state history.
Ross Ellingwood, Lecturer – Ross’s love of adventure took hold in college and hasn’t loosened its grip. In 2016, he spent six months building a wooden rowing boat in his garage, and then took it on a three-month, 1,100-mile exploration of the Inside Passage. His career has seen him guiding sea-kayaking trips and ice climbing in Alaska.
Jennifer Fought, Lecturer – Certified as a Zodiac operator at nine, Jennifer found her sweet spot in the natural world and spent her youth camping, canoeing and riding horses. With a graduate degree in Structural Geology, she has conducted research from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico to the glaciers of Greenland.
Eric Holst, Lecturer – Over a decade as a Zodiac driver and bridge officer, Eric worked extensively in Alaska, British Columbia, Mexico and Central America. He is fascinated by geography and earth history, especially where they converge with the study of ancient climates and ecosystems and is most content before the face of a tidewater glacier watching the confluence of time, climate and topography on a barely fathomable scale.
Greg Horn, Kayak Guide – Following schooling and military service, Horn fueled his interests in business and adventure by starting a SCUBA center along South Africa’s Garden Route and later ran a bush camp and dive resort in Mozambique. He has completed 5,000-plus dives in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea and traveled more than 14,000 km by off-road motorbike through South Africa.
Aidan Klimenko, Photo / Videographer – An accomplished photographer, filmmaker and traveler, Aldan explores life around the world through his camera and lens. Raised in Ecuador, he traveled South America in search of adventure and imagery to create a portfolio for entrée into the travel and adventure industries.
Sylvia Stevens, Lecturer – Born in Scotland and relocated to San Diego, Sylvia gave up a successful business career to pursue her love of photography, wildlife and travel. She has worked extensively with injured and endangered animals in various locations, including seabirds, eagles and otters in Alaska, and has three decades of experience as a lecturer and Expedition Leader on ships in the Arctic, Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic.
Peter Torkelson, Lecturer – A native Alaskan, entrepreneur and avid sailor, in 2010 Peter ditched a thriving business and moved with his family aboard a catamaran to cruise 14,000 ocean miles over six years, surviving two hurricanes en route. These days he explores western Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska as often as possible, and recently worked on megayacht charters out of Juneau.
Kirstie Yeager, Lecturer – Kirstie has spent more than two decades studying and working in natural resource management and wildlife research. Her extensive background includes studying grizzly bears in Montana, Steller sea lions in Alaska, and several species at McMurdo and Palmer Stations in Antarctica.
The expedition team will rotate throughout the season, and additional team members will join select sailings periodically.
The complete story appeared in the January 16 issue of Cruise News Daily.
This isn't an exciting story as an announcement of a new ship being ordered or delivered would be, but it's important in that it tells us something about a future trend.
Fincantieri signed an agreement today with an Italian investment bank (Cassa depositi e prestiti) and a natural gas infrastructure company (Snam). The group is going to be sharing ideas and experience in ports and coastal area on LNG and other alternative energy sources in maritime transport.
The complete story appeared in the January 14 edition of Cruise News Daily.
We haven't been reporting cases of norovirus lately because cruise lines have been able to deal with it so effectively that it seldom reaches the threshold any longer that the CDC classifies as an “outbreak” (3%). In all of 2018, there were only 11 “outbreaks” that they tracked, according to the CDC website, and it's highly unusual these days for a cruise line to ever miss a port or need to return early because of it.
We now have the first outbreak of 2019 necessary report to the CDC, and it has caused the ship to be barred from landing passengers in one port, and caused the cruise line to return the ship early for extra sanitation.
The ship is Oasis of the Seas, and the latest figures reported on the CDC website this afternoon are 385 passengers out of 6,285 (6.12%), and 17 crew members out of 2,169 (0.78%). Some media reports put the total this afternoon at 475.
The complete story appeared in the January 11 issue of Cruise News Daily.
Cunard's elegant alternative dining restaurant, The Verandah, on all three of Cunard's Queens, has undergone a bit of a transformation on all three ships. It is now the Steakhouse at The Verandah with a new steakhouse-style menu.
The complete story appeared in the January 9 issue of Cruise News Daily.
Photo courtesy of Cunard Line. All rights reserved.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings ordered two of a new generation of ships they have named Allura-class, for their Oceania brand today from Fincantieri.
The ships are scheduled for delivery in 2022 and 2025. They are similar in size to the line's newest ships, Riviera and Marina, which were also delivered by Fincantieri from their Sestri Ponente yard in 2012 and 2011.
The complete story appeared in the January 8 edition of Cruise News Daily.
Chantiers de l'Atlantique floated out MSC Grandiosa today at their Saint-Nazaire yard.
MSC Grandiosa will be the third ship of the Meraviglia design and the first of the Meraviglia-plus class. (If you are marking your score cards, the first two Meraviglia-class were MSC Meraviglia and MSC Bellissima.)
The complete story appeared in the January 7 issue of Cruise News Daily.
US Navy personnel is no stranger to being on ships at sea, but Carnival got a chance to show a group of 40 Navy sea cadets how Carnival does things on their big ships when a group visited Carnival Liberty at Port Canaveral last month.
Details appeared in the January 3 edition of Cruise News Daily.
Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line. All rights reserved. Many not be copied or used without express permission.
When passengers aboard Carnival Cruise Line awoke yesterday, a hangover from New Year's Eve was only the first headache they had. The second happened when they ordered room service. Carnival now charges for everything from room service, except a continental breakfast.
At just about the point where everyone has realized they have to routinely include an amount in their cruise budget for specialty restaurants, Carnival customers are going to have to include an amount for room service.
The complete story appeared in the January 2 issue of Cruise News Daily.
If California hadn't thought about Carnival Cruise Line before, they are now, and will be for at least the next month.
It kicked off with Carnival's big, flower-covered float rolling down Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, a replica of Carnival Panorama, with representations of the “fun” things the ship will offer: a band playing “Uptown Funk,” a deck party, even people doing flips on the trampoline representing the ship's trampoline park. Of course it came with a huge “Choose Fun” bumper sticker (made out of flowers) stuck to the float's rear bumper.
Details appeared in the January 2 issue of Cruise News Daily.
Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line. All rights reserved. May not be copied or used without permission.