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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
May 11, 2016

Princess Cruises Announces New
Luxury Stateroom Options for December 2016

All About Princess and Oceania Cruises

A Very Special Oceania Cruises Webinar Event


Click here for more cruise specials


Webinar: Please join CruiseCompete, Oceania Cruises, and
Cruise Vacation Outlet for an informational webinar to be held
Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Oceania Cruises intimate and luxurious ships allow you to explore the world in unequalled style and comfort. Sophisticated, stylish and distinctly mid-size, you’ll find the onboard atmosphere is extremely convivial, and with an unrivaled level of personalized service as a result of the line having two staff members for every three guests. 

Learn more about this fantastic line, its ships and itineraries, and what you can expect when you sail. 

This webinar will last approximately one hour and include a presentation and a question and answer session.

To register for the webinar, please click here.


About Oceania Cruises:

Best for:

Affluent, well-traveled adults who want a sophisticated, destination-rich, casual cruise experience, with superior food and service. Oceania commands a high degree of customer loyalty.

Atmosphere and experience onboard:

Oceania guests expect (and have) a destination-rich boutique hotel experience with superior food and service. The ships are luxurious (and traditional) in appearance, with rich dark wood, and fine art work and soft goods; the atmosphere throughout is country-club casual. Many cabins have balconies.

An outstanding Oceania feature is the Bon Appetit Culinary Center, the world's only culinary studio at sea, were master chefs provide instruction (guests must be 18 or older) on great regional cuisines and more; classes are $69 each.

Master chef Jacques Pepin is the Oceania's executive chef, which enhances the line's reputation for culinary excellence. In addition to the better-than-average main dining room experience, there are excellent alternate restaurants: four aboard Regatta, Insignia and Nautica and six aboard Marina and Riviera. The latter two ships have Jacques restaurants, named after the famous chef; they feature some of Pepin's classic French dishes, including foie gras and duck. The newer ships also have the Red Ginger (Asian) restaurant, the upscale Waves Grill and La Reserve wine-tasting menu.

As the line's motto is "Whatever you want, whenever you want," dining is open seating, though reservations are required at the alternative venues. Also in keeping with this motto, the dress code is country-club casual, with no formal nights.

Entertainment includes some standard cruise-type shows, social events and lectures by distinguished scholars and authors. As the itineraries are destination-intensive is not as varied or as important as it is on big ships.

All ships have small casinos, Canyon Ranch spas and fitness centers, which offer the usual aerobics classes, Pilates and yoga.

Though the base fares aren't exactly cheap, the do represent solid value for money; they do no include shore tours, liquor or pre-cruise hotel stays. The line occasionally offers such promotions as two-for-one fares.

Destinations served:
  • Western Mediterranean
  • Greek Isles and Eastern Mediterranean
  • Northern Europe and Scandinavia
  • South Pacific
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Alaska
  • Canada and New England
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • South America
  • Caribbean and the Panama Canal
  • Transoceanic Voyages
  • Grand Voyages

Well-traveled adults with an appreciation for solid value, excellent country-club-type service, fine dining and destination-rich cruises aboard small ships. As the line recently added a children's program (similar to Regent's) to its Alaska cruises, you may find families on those cruises.

Policies regarding children onboard:
Infants must be 1 year of age as of the first day of the cruise. Guests traveling with a young infant that does not meet the infant policy will be denied boarding. No refunds or other compensation shall be due from Oceania Cruises to anyone as a result of the denial of boarding to an underage infant or any accompanying guests.

Oceania Cruises does not provide for the care, entertainment or supervision of children – with one exception. The line recently added a children's program (similar to Regent's) on their Alaska itineraries.

Oceania Cruises Specials
Oceania Cruises Shore Excursions
Oceania Cruises Reviews
Oceania Cruises Deck Plans

Read Writer's Diaries of Oceania Cruises voyages!

To register for the webinar, please click here.



All About Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises Announces New Luxury Stateroom Options for December 2016

Princess Cruises has just announced a new luxury stateroom option that I am excited to sharewith you. I love Princess Cruises – I worked for them for several years and the experience on Princess Cruises is fantastic for the price.

These very pretty ships have some of the finest amenities, imaginary food, top-notch children’s programs, amazing entertainment, truly caring staff, and overall a beautiful experience.  The spa is truly magnificent and the areas for relaxing like the Sanctuary are competitive with the ultra-luxury lines.

The Club Class Mini Suites will be introduced on select ships in December and will feature a balcony and a separate seating area, a bathroom with a bath tub, and a welcome glass of champagne.  I like to take baths and this is a wonderful feature to offer.  Plus, guests staying in one of the Club Class Mini Suites will be able to take advantage of perks that I know they will enjoy, including the new Club Class Dining option.

Here are the perks according to Princess Cruises:

Club Class Dining

  • Dedicated area of the Main Dining Room with expedited seating
  • Dedicated wait staff and uniquely-styled table décor
  • Exclusive menu options with daily chef’s special and table-side preparations
  • Available every evening for dinner and for breakfast and lunch on sea days

Club Class Mini-Suite Upgraded Amenities & Services

  • The Princess Luxury Bed – Club Class guests will be among the first to experience the “Ultimate Sleep at Sea,” in the new bed designed in collaboration with board certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and renowned HGTV Designer Candice Olson
  • Priority check-in and boarding at the beginning of the cruise and priority disembarkation at the end of the cruise
  • One-time complimentary wine set-up on embarkation day (1/2 bottle of red and white)
  • Evening canapés (upon request)
  • Luxurious terry shawl bathrobes


About Princess Cruises

Best for:

The mid-size and big ships are best for couples, families, multi-generational groups and singles who enjoy an active environment and want many itinerary choices. For mature travelers who want a small-ship experience with few children, longer itineraries and off-the-beaten path ports, the Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess are good choices.

Atmosphere and experience onboard:

A good slogan for Princess might be: "Have it Your Way," for the line has a fleet of different style ships, sails itineraries all over the world -- and successfully blends traditional cruise elements with more modern amenities.

For example, the line has set seating – and also offers "Anytime Dining." The entertainment mix includes traditional Vegas-style revues, talent shows and comedians -- and also the newer "Movies Under the Stars."

The dining mix (varies by ship) might include a New Orleans-style cafe or an Italian restaurant. The three-deck Piazza, a relatively new feature that's being expanded to older ships, includes a 24-hour cafe, a wine bar and Alfredo's pizza, as well as shops and a performance venue.

Princess ships have casinos, nightclubs, discos and kids' clubs. All have Lotus spas and fitness centers that offer yoga and other classes. Some spas feature alternative therapies like acupuncture; the newer ones have such medi-spa options like Botox and other fillers. Depending on the ship, activities might include art auctions and all kinds of classes (some carry a fee): computer technology, photography, ceramics or cooking.

The newest (Royal Class) ships have expanded Piazzas, SeaWalks (glass-enclosed walkway) and Princess Live! (interactive TV studio).

Princess cruises include both formal nights (one for seven-to-13-night trips) and smart casual nights. Formal means a tuxedo or dark suit for men and gowns, cocktail dresses or fancy pants suit for women. Smart Casual means pants and open neck shirts for men and dresses; skirts or slacks and sweaters or blouses for women. T shirts, shorts and halter tops are not allowed in the dining. Shoes must be worn in the dining rooms.

Back in "the old days" of cruising, friends and family were allowed to come aboard with passengers, perhaps to share some champagne and small treats before the sailing time. That sweet custom ended, but Princess revived it with the "Bon Voyage" experience, which allows guests to come aboard for a tour and lunch with wine. The package, which runs about four hours, costs $39 and is a nice way to share the cruise experience. (And if any guests decide to take a cruise after sampling the experience, that $39 can be applied to the price.)

Destinations served:

  • Alaska

  • Asia, India, and Africa

  • Australia and New Zealand

  • California Coastal

  • Canada and New England

  • Caribbean

  • Europe

  • Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific

  • Mexico

  • Panama Canal

  • South America

  • World Cruise


Depending on the ship, fellow passengers can include family groups, couples, singles or mature travelers. On the big or mid-size ships, you'll find the broadest mix. The two smaller ships – Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess – have fewer features that appeal to families and sail longer itineraries to more exotic ports, so they attract older travelers.

Policies regarding children onboard: 
The minimum passenger age is 6 months on Alaska, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Trans-canal and Australia/New Zealand cruises, and 12 months on all other cruises, including transatlantic and transpacific itineraries.

Children under the age of 3 are welcome to visit the Youth Center, if accompanied and supervised by a parent at all times.

All vessels, with the exception of the Ocean and Pacific Princess, have dedicated Youth Centers and Teen Lounges. These two vessels offer youth programs when 20 or more children, ages 3-17, are traveling on a given voyage. Children under the age of 3 are welcome to visit the Youth Center, if accompanied and supervised by a parent at all times.


Princess Cruises Specials
Princess Cruises Shore Excursions
Princess Cruises Reviews
Princess Cruises Deck Plans

Read Writer's Diaries of Princess Voyages!

A Date With a Turtle: Snorkel, Sail and Dine with the Turtles

Up To 75% off Shore Excursions!

First things first--turtles are guaranteed on this tour. You will experience them. Sail over beautiful waters, observing gallant Hawaiian green sea turtles elegantly navigating the waters. You'll want to dive right in with them to enjoy paradise together. Good thing is, you can! Every guest is provided with a snorkel, safety vest, and snorkeling gear. After a brief safety overview, snorkel away in the same playful waters as the turtles!

Of course, you're going to get hungry. Luckily, an onboard lunch buffet just so happens to be included on this tour! Build your own sandwiches with meat, cheese, and vegetarian options. Chips, fruits, cookies, and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages complete the package. You do, however, receive two free bar drink tickets per adult ($1/beer, $2/mixer extras).

Book this breathtaking and tummy-satisfying Oahu shore excursion for a memorable Hawaii experience. Go back home feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and renewed!

Cost: $139.00 per person; children under 3 are free.

To find out more about this excursion, please visit
then select Hawaii/Oahu.

# # #

Up To 75% off Shore Excursions

CruiseCompete links you to third-party shore excursion providers, giving you access to premium shore excursions from your Celebrity Millennium cruise at substantially lower prices. Enjoy a more intimate cruise tour experience away from the crowds. 

Be confident in your choice with 24/7 support for travelers, a full refund if you miss your shore excursion due to itinerary changes or weather, and guaranteed return to your cruise ship.

Visit the CruiseCompete Shore Excursions page here.

2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner [PDF] or Online book

While there is a perfect cruise vacation for everyone, not every cruise line is the ideal match for every family. Some lines have minimum age requirements for children (and pregnancy policies for expectant parents!), and others don't permit children to sail at all. In addition, while a line may allow children to sail, it’s not a given that the line has specially designed children’s programs in place. 

With these things in mind, determining the best cruise line for your family takes careful research, preparation and planning. The travel experts at CruiseCompete have composed the “2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner,” which details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience.

The “2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner” is designed to kick-start your cruise vacation planning, and covers the entire spectrum of options with information on mainstream lines like Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, as well as unique alternatives like luxury, river and small ship excursion companies.

All information has been compiled in an easy-to-read format, with brief “at-a-glance” summaries to see if the cruise line fits your basic requirements, followed by more detailed information about the atmosphere on board, the destinations you can travel to and the specific programs available for children.

Take a look!  2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner [PDF] or Online book

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