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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
April 30, 2015

Cake and Cuckoo Clocks on the Rivers of Europe,
Seabourn Partners with a “Culinary Genius”,
an Oceania Cruises Webinar,
Turnberry Isle Miami,
a Hidden Jewel & the Cruise Line Pregnancy Policies 

Webinar:  Please join CruiseCompete, Oceania Cruises, and Cruise Vacation Outlet for an informational webinar to be held Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 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.

Looking for that very special shore excursion at a 75% discount?
CruiseCompete has some very special offers for the most popular ports of call!

Super Cruise Specials

$1,999 Discounted Disney 9 Night Sailings Frozen Fun to Norway
with great SB...

Disney Magic, Disney Cruise Line - Scandinavia

$2,399 Free Airfare to Europe
Viking Forseti, Viking River Cruises - Europe

$899 7-NT Alaska on NCL Pearl w/bonus amenities.
Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Cruise Line - Alaska

$907 7-NT Celebrity Constellation Exclusive Promo
Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Cruises - Mediterranean

$2,999 10-NT Crystal Cruise fr $2,999 pp w/obc
Crystal Symphony, Crystal Cruises - South America

$624 7nt Alaska from $624 per person!
Grand Princess, Princess Cruises - Alaska

$494 7nt Caribbean on the Carnival Glory PLUS Onboard Credit!
Carnival Glory, Carnival Cruise Lines - Western Caribbean

$676 7nt Celebrity Summit from $676 PLUS Onboard Credit!
Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Cruises - Bermuda

$2,075 Great Deal: Rhine Cruise from $ 2075
MS AmaCerto, AmaWaterways - Europe

$2,899 8 Night Mediterranean from $2899 per person!
Oceania Riviera, Oceania Cruises - Mediterranean

More Cruise Specials

A World Cruise!

Thinking about a world cruise?  Now is the tine to book for 2016, we have some of the lines and their world cruise voyages here:

Here's an example:

Princess Cruises- Pacific Princess

111 Day Pacific Princess 2016 World Cruise
Round Trip Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

2016 Sails: Jan 3

111 Days - Starting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; with stops in Curacao; Santa Marta, Colombia; Panama Canal, Panama (Full Transit); Puntarenas, Costa Rica; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Los Angeles, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Pago Pago, American Samoa; Cross International Date Line; Nuku'alofa, Tonga; Bay of Islands, New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; Cairns, Australia; Darwin, Australia; Bandar Seri Begawan (Muara), Brunei; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; Hong Kong, China; Hong Kong, China; Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Singapore; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Mangalore, India; Muscat (Mina Qaboos), Oman; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Aqaba (for Petra), Jordan; Suez Canal, Egypt (Scenic Cruising); Rhodes, Greece; Soudha Bay, Greece; Bari, Italy; Venice, Italy; Venice, Italy; Korcula, Croatia; Valletta, Malta; Mallorca (Palma), Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Ceuta (Spanish Morocco), Spain; Bermuda (Hamilton); Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Find more World Cruises here.

Looking for an unusual cruise line such as:

Tauck River Cruises- From Latin America to Europe, explore hidden harbors, secluded islands, and exclusive ports of call; Tauck’s small ship cruising focuses on cultural exploration and natural history in must-see destinations or unusual locales that are off-the-beaten track.

Ponant- Ponant yacht cruises offers extraordinary journeys that include legendary destinations as well as some of the world’s most secluded ports.  Each guest on-board enjoys the feeling as if they are sailing on their own private yacht, where they’re free to savor the delight of solitude or share enjoyable moments with others.

Hurtigruten- Hurtigruten gives travelers an opportunity to experience not only the natural, unspoiled and endless beauty of the Norwegian coastline,  but also the rare polar environments, people and wildlife at the very ends of the Earth. Each Hurtigruten departure is a purposeful voyage providing a transportation lifeline between Norway’s cities and villages while exploring stunning fjords and UNESCO World Heritage sites along with more than 1,100 miles of pristine coast waterway.

Pearl Sea Cruises- Pearl Seas Cruises has developed a brand new fleet of luxury ships that can travel faster and have the latest technology in navigation and communication equipment. The interior of the ships offer luxury accommodations with oversized staterooms, all with private balconies. Exquisite cuisine will be enjoyed in the spacious, glass lined dining salon and relaxing time will be spent in one of the many comfortable lounges.

Sea Cloud Cruises- Guests of Sea Cloud Cruises can reach the most exotic destinations in Europe and the Caribbean aboard two imposing tall ships all in a wonderfully relaxed and casual atmosphere, in which first-class chefs create culinary highlights.

St. Lawrence Cruise Lines- St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is a family cruise line that sail though the heart of central Canada along the St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence Cruise Line’s ship, The Canadian Empress, is a replica steamboat. The Grand Saloon and decks provide a complete range of choices for quiet comfort and open activity.

Please email me directly and I will have an expert with these lines contact you –

This month’s featured cruise lines:  Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises

About Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International boasts a fleet of the world's largest ships. Royal Caribbean ships are resort cities at sea, offering the best variety over the top experiences for the entire family. Whether you seek an adrenaline rush or total tranquility, their ships have it all. Try rock climbing, ice skating and surfing 200 feet above the waves. Melt away land-based stress with a spa massage, build a scrapbook of memories or simply relax poolside. Offering the ultimate in dining experiences and ambience, variety and the flexibility to decide when and what you savor. From casual to sophisticated, cupcakes to canapes, sample an array of options – many of them included in the price of your cruise. Pair meals with a beverage package and enjoy up to 25% savings on your favorite drinks. More………..

Best for:
Families with or without children, active couples and singles of all ages who love the fun of large ships and diverse onboard activities and those looking for adrenaline rushes and the latest and greatest amenities at sea. If you never left the ship you would feel you had an amazing vacation.

Those seeking a private island experience.
Coco Cay, which features the 20,000 square-foot aqua playground Caylana's Castle Cove, is an island designed exclusively for Caribbean and Celebrity passengers. It's a perfect spot for water lovers, featuring a white-sand beach, wave runners and snorkeling among coral reefs with vibrant tropical fish and sunken wrecks. Perhaps the most popular activity on Coco Cay, however, is parasailing, where guests ascend to 400 feet and get a bird's-eye view of the island.

All About the ships of Royal Caribbean International Cruises:
Royal Caribbean International (RCL) Cruise Specials
About Celebrity Cruises

The stylish ships of Celebrity Cruises feature high-end decor, modern technology, excellent enrichment programs, superior dining options and outstanding spas.

The Solstice Class ships have larger staterooms than those on previous classes; 80% have verandas. Highlights of these ships are: the Lawn Club (with a half-acre of manicured lawn), multiple dining venues, a multi-million-dollar art collection, a large theater and the spa-inspired AquaClass suites and the AquaClass signature restaurant, Blu.

Celebrity is the first cruise line in the world to offer SPE-certified dishes in their main restaurant on the Reflection (but likely to follow on other ships). This newest designation means that culinary experts have vetted the dishes and certified that they are not only nutritious, but also delicious.

On the newer ships, passengers can seek a little privacy by booking a fee-based "Alcove," where they'll have chilled towels, fresh fruit and use of a pre-loaded iPad. An Alcove Butler can arrange spa treatments, food and other services.

Many of the line's Millennium Class ships have been "solsticized," meaning that they have received Solstice Class upgrades.

The line sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands (the small Celebrity Xpedition sails luxury expeditions to the Galapagos).

The line offers Cruisetours, land-based extensions of their cruises to Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America.

Celebrity Cruises is best for:

Families with young children;
Families with teen-agers;
Family reunions, multi-generational;
Young adults looking for soft adventure and sports activities;
Boomers looking for a cruise with lots of enrichment at sea;
Spa lovers;
Travelers who want a taste of luxury at a premium cruise price.
All About the ships of Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises Specials

About Azamara Club Cruises

Azamara is unique among cruise lines in that it was created to offer luxury and destination-rich itineraries at a price point lower than those of competitors, as well as access to less-traveled ports. The line's ports of call are carefully selected, to include culturally rich cities and exceptional natural wonders.

Azamara Club Cruises has been described as a "sophisticated yet relaxed" luxury line with an immersion in destination cultures and traditions. The line's two 694-guest ships feature European hotel ambiance and provide outstanding service, fine cuisine and wines, and wellness programs.

Because of their smaller size, the Azamara ships travel to destinations that larger ships can't reach, in Europe, Asia, South America, Panama Canal and the less-traveled islands of the Caribbean. They also offer more overnight and late-night stays than large ships. Whenever possible, itineraries are planned around popular events – for example, visiting London for the Chelsea Garden Show or Monaco during the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.
Azamara is constantly adding new ports and new itineraries. For example, the 2015 program included a total of 203 ports in 62 countries, with 16 maiden port calls.

Both ships were built in 2000, with the Quest entering service with Azamara in 2007, the Journey, slightly later. Both ships have had extensive multi-million-dollar refits; the Quest was upgraded in 2012, the Journey, in 2013. Azamara Club Cruises consistently rank high in customer satisfaction, winning 35 out of a possible 40 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice awards. The reasons for this popularity relate to the total cruise experience offered by Azamara.

Azamara Club Cruises is best for:

Seasoned, sophisticated travelers, who are destination-oriented and are looking for a small ship, boutique-type of experience;
Those seeking a floating country club experience with upscale surroundings and amenities and a relaxed atmosphere.

All About the ships of Azamara Club Cruises:
Azamara Club Cruises Specials

One of our favorite hotels

Warm gorgeous pools, friendly staff, bourbon steak, golfers paradise & a small and intimate spa all exceed expectations

This is truly a great location, shopping is abundant, you are close to the little downtown of Hollywood and there are restaurants everywhere, not to mention a short drive to the pier in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The location is perfect!

Pregnancy Policies by Cruise Line

Thinking of taking a cruise while you’re expecting? It’s a great idea! Take the opportunity to relax and enjoy this time before your life is changed by a new bundle of joy. Be aware, however, that the cruise lines do have pregnancy policies in place and most do not allow passengers who are farther along than 24 weeks. Please find below a reference list of cruise line pregnancy policies.

(Please be sure to confirm these with your agent / cruise line before booking, as they are subject to change.)

For a full listing of the cruise lines and their pregnancy policies………..More

Cruise News

Celebrity Cruises receives “Autism Friendly” certification from Autism on the Seas
In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, Autism on the Seas™ (AotS), the leading travel organization catering to vacationers with autism and other developmental disabilities, today announced that Celebrity Cruises has received the Silver Level “Autism Friendly” certification from AotS. The important designation qualifies the modern luxury cruise line’s efforts to accommodate guests with autism and developmental disabilities for inclusion and participation in its cruise vacation experience. Effective immediately, the Celebrity Cruises fleet* is Silver Level certified “Autism Friendly,” with dedicated onboard youth staff specially trained in autism awareness by AotS.

Celebrity has implemented best practices to accommodate vacationers with special needs, along with the introduction of new Autism Friendly products and services. Celebrity’s Fun Factory youth program, for ages 3 – 11, also will offer families the option to participate in the onboard autism friendly, toy-lending program, which includes the opportunity to enjoy the borrowed products in the comfort of the guest’s stateroom or around the ship. More…
Seabourn partners with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller to create new menu items and signature restaurant for all Seabourn ships
Dining is about to reach new heights in the cruise industry as Seabourn announces its partnership with world-renowned American chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller. The culinary genius behind a trio of Michelin-starred restaurants – The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon – Keller will bring his award-winning French and American cuisine to the ultra-luxury cruise line in 2015, adding new flavors and flair to complement Seabourn’s already celebrated cuisine.

Chef Keller will develop an array of dishes, ranging from appetizers to entrees to desserts for multiple dining venues aboard Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn, and Seabourn Quest beginning early fall 2015. The culinary creations will be prepared with high quality ingredients and to exact specifications, resulting in an unrivaled dining experience like no other at sea. More…

Featured Travel Writers

Cake and cuckoo clocks on the rivers of Europe  /  Emerald Waterways from Barbara Ramsay Orr's Blog

I’m not big on jewelry, despite the fact that my sister-in-law is a jewelry designer and my husband turns to her for every birthday present he has to get for me. Usually I’m ‘take it or leave it’ about such things.

But I’m excited about this gem – The Emerald Sky – a jewel of a ship that launched in 2014 and won the “Best New River Ship” designation. I’m interested to experience this new ship, particularly the innovative in-room balconies, with windows that open to give a panoramic view of the passing scenery. I think I can picture myself tucked up in bed in the morning, waking to watch the river float by.

We will be following a new itinerary for Emerald Waterways, one that begins in Basel, Switzerland and explores the Black Forest region before connecting with the Rhine and visiting the engaging cities of Koblenz, Rudesheim, and Cologne before finally docking in Amsterdam. I look forward to fat slices of Black Forest cake, a view of Germany’s biggest cuckoo clock and traditional local dining. More…

Emerald Waterways, sister to Scenic Tours (but with a lower price point), was new in 2014, the first new company to sail Europe's rivers in six years. 

The line's twin ships, the Emerald Sky and Emerald Star are new builds, each carrying 182 passengers, with accommodations ranging from solo cabins and staterooms to balcony suites and owners' suites. The Emerald Panorama Balcony suite features floor-to-ceiling windows which, at the touch of a button, drop down, to create an actual open-air deck area. Cabins have picture windows, spacious closets, high-end coffee machines, complimentary mini-bars, iPad/iPod docking stations with speakers. Passengers have use of a complimentary iPad during the cruise
To learn more about Emerald Waterways and their beautiful new ships.

The Diaries of our travel writers

New blogger Judy Wells shares her experiences on board European Waterways' La Renaissance barge in France. Follow her here.

Sara and Robert Bone embark on a nine-day experience on the majestic Columbia River that forms most of the border between the states of Washington and Oregon. Follow them here.

Barbara Orr sails solo on an Emerald Waterways river cruise. Follow her here.

Tim and Linda O'Keefe enjoy a memorable Baltic Cruise on Oceania's Marina. Read their reports.

David Molyneaux tells us why RCCL's new Quantum of the Seas is a genuine "smart ship."

Stuart and Janet Wilson are on another adventure, this time a wine cruise with AmaWaterways. Read their articles here.

Dave Houser crosses the Atlantic Ocean on the sailing ship, the Star Flyer. Follow his reports here.

Marcia Levin experiences a new 11-day Caribbean itinerary on the Costa Mediterranea. Follow her here.

Kimberly Button sails on the new Regal Princess and gives us her impressions here.

Welcome Len Kaufman as ATC's featured cruise videographer. View his exciting videos here.

See all writers...

More Information About the Lines

Everything you need to know about the various cruise lines and their ships:

Which lines are all-inclusive? What do the lines offer to keep your experience over the top?

Cruise Specials

Cruise Specials by Price… Under $500 to Over $25,000. See them all here.

Cruise Specials by Region…Africa and Alaska to Transoceanic and World Cruises… And everywhere in between. See the cruise regions here.

Cruise Specials by Cruise Line… See offers from all the cruise lines here.

Cruise Specials by Category… Adventure, River, Honeymoon and more! See them here.

Cruise Specials by Length… 3 days, to 6 months or more. See all the options here.

Cruise Specials by Month… Now through December 2015. Get a month by month breakdown by clicking here.

Holiday Cruise Specials… Celebrate your holidays with a cruise. To see all the holiday options, click here.

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