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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
December 16, 2013

Happy Holidays! Wishing Our Readers a Healthy & Prosperous New Year!
A Rugged Cruise in the South Pacific? Carnival Cruises Partners With
Dr. Seuss, and Crystal Serenity’s Chic Makeover

Hello Dear Readers,

Our entire team sends you and your families warm holiday wishes and our sincere thanks for using CruiseCompete. We are truly honored that you take the time to read our newsletter.
The holiday season holds a special place in our hearts and minds, and we hope this is a time of gathering and merriment, of reflection and gratitude, for you and your family. Some of the most precious moments in life are during this season of giving, and the best gift we can give is often one of time spent with those we love and cherish.

Happy Holidays! We wish you and your Family a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Warmest Wishes,

What we’ve been up to in 2013…

We’ve all been quite busy this year, with our many talented writers cruising the globe to bring you the latest in travel diaries and news. Voyages the writers have made include trips to: Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Alaska, Transatlantic, British Columbia, the Adriatic, the Seine, and so much more
To read the writers travel diaries, please click here.

And in the spirit of the holidays, Barbara Ramsay Orr is visiting the Christmas Markets via river cruise in Europe right now. Read more about her experiences here:

Barbara fell in love with cruising on her very first sailing, on the Queen Elizabeth 2, in 1987. It has remained her favorite way to see the world. She has sailed on several Cunard Queens, has experienced the thrill of small ship sailing and explored the many attractions of the large ladies of the seas.

Barbara is a freelance writer who specializes in food, cruising, culture, travel and gardens, and her work appears regularly in major Canadian and international publications. She is the author of the Frommer's Guide to Niagara third and fourth edition, and of Day Trips from Toronto from Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Niagara Falls Travel App, available from iTunes. This year Barbara received two Lowell Thomas Awards for her work.

Follow Barbara’s blog here:

Want to know a little more about some of the other writers that cover the topics of interest for so many of us?

Cynthia Boal Janssens - Cindy has been a journalist since she was 13 years old. She worked for many newspapers over the years but became hooked on travel and cruising during her stint as travel editor of The Detroit News.

Today she is the editor-in-chief of AllThingsCruise. She coordinates the assignments of all of our travel writers and usually does at least two cruises a year on her own. Most recently, she and her husband, Chet, took their grandchildren on a memorable cruise to Alaska.

Cindy lives in Florida in the winter (very handy for cruising) and Michigan in the summer. She loves golf, reading and cooking up a storm in her new home in Boyne City.

Follow Cynthia’s blog here:

Renee Goyeneche - Renee loves to participate in, and write about, things that benefit families, children and the environment. She is a volunteer for a number of children’s organizations and has a special interest in promoting education and development for young women.

In her free time, she’s a dedicated practitioner of yoga, loves to read and enjoys spending time with her family in silly but happy pursuits. She loves to cook, tries to sew and has been labeled a “neat freak,” although she prefers to think of herself as “highly organized.”

Renee lives in a very small Northern California town, which makes travel an exotic and exciting experience regardless of the destination…and a true pleasure to write about.

Follow Renee’s blog here:

Heidi Shane - Publisher and Editor-at-Large for AllThingsCruise
You’ve heard the expression “a labor of love” – that’s surely true of the many cruise-related publications I have had the privilege of writing. I’ve been a part of the cruise industry for over 20 years and there’s very little I would change about my professional career (or personal life) if I “had it all to do over again.”
My cruise career has been a varied one, encompassing Princess Cruises, American Hawaii Cruises, Norwegian American Line and American Express Meetings & Incentives. This career has allowed me to experience over 70 cruises on various lines, trips that spanned the globe to countless exotic and fascinating places including Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Asia and South America.

A related passion is my love of entrepreneurial pursuits, some of which have been cruise-related. I’ve been involved in many “start up” companies and enjoy the challenge of building a fledgling organization from the ground-up and mentoring others who help build our joint successes.

On the personal side, my interests are many and include home decorating, gardening, reading, baking and cooking. One of my most relaxing pastimes is swimming and boating on the many beautiful lakes to be found in my home state of Michigan. I live in lovely Rochester, Michigan, with my (professor) husband Jeff, and I am very fortunate that my children, sisters and nephews reside and work in Rochester as well. And - with the blessing of a new granddaughter just one year ago - I have the added joy of watching “baby Kennedy” and furry creatures often.

Needless to say, I love to travel. My favorite resort is Fisher Island (just minutes from downtown Miami) and my favorite cruise line is Regent Seven Seas (when traveling with my husband) and Princess Cruises (when my travels include the children.) Despite my many trips, there are still a few destinations on my “wish list.” I’ve yet to visit Scotland, a high priority as this is my family’s ancestral homeland. As I love the historical periods including the medieval and renaissance eras, a trip to these locales is certainly in my future plans.

This holiday time reminds us of the importance of “giving back” – I am fortunate to sit on the Board of Directors for the Workplace Fairness organization, serving the needs of many less fortunate who are striving to improve their workplace prospects given our challenging economy.

In summary, I view myself as very blessed in my personal and professional life and wish for a happy and prosperous 2014 for each of us.

Follow Heidi’s blog here:

Holiday Cruising: A New Family Tradition
If you’re considering travel over the holidays next year, think about taking a Christmas / Chanukah / Kwanzaa cruise -- it will provide lifetime memories and holiday cheer. In particular, Europe abounds with legendary Christmas markets that draw millions of visitors. Berlin alone boasts over 70 markets, with Dortmund offering 300 stalls surrounding a gigantic Christmas tree that is 45 meters tall. These markets are a “must see” for any discerning traveler for whom the spirit of Christmas will forever carry new meaning after this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

There are still some holiday cruises available, visit our cruise specials by category to see what is available:

Here are 5 compelling reasons to plan a holiday cruise that visits the Christmas markets, (booking it sooner than later for next year is a good idea):
  1. You’ll experience the true “Spirit of Christmas.” Remember the songs and stories you heard as a child about the “meaning of Christmas”? You will surely experience it here – gingerbread cookies, handmade toys, nativity scenes and traditional singing/dancing. Your excursion will truly awaken a holiday spirit that you’d long since forgotten (or perhaps never fully experienced).
  2. You’ll experience holiday history. Christmas markets have been held in European venues for hundreds of years. You’ll experience the local cuisine, seasonal drinks and countless lovely handmade gifts from open-air stalls. You can do your holiday shopping while you’re there – your family and loved ones will appreciate unique gifts found nowhere else.
  3. There are holiday travel options to fit your schedule and budget. The Christmas market sailings on river cruise lines generally begin in mid-November and continue through the end of the year, so you will have numerous options for holiday planning.
  4. These cruises take place on the world’s most beautiful rivers. These sailings are typically held on the Main, Rhine, Danube and Seine Rivers, all of which are lovely, relaxing and picturesque - especially for the holidays. Remember the Strauss waltz “The Blue Danube”? Experience these rivers as they were meant to be enjoyed – as a guest on a river cruise, during the most memorable time of the year.
  5. Your friends & loved ones will experience your trip, through your gifts. The holiday gifts you’ll purchase are truly one-of-a-kind treasures, perfect for anyone wanting to experience the quintessential magic of the holidays. Any recipient of such a gift will thank you for your generosity in choosing such a memorable item they will never receive from anywhere (or anyone) else.
David took a rugged cruise to an active volcano in the South Pacific
Though 15,000 to 20,000 people arrive at White Island by boat every year, at first I felt foolish, wondering why a rational person would choose to saunter through a bubbling minefield that could explode at any time. Then, I felt the exhilaration shared by volcano explorers through the centuries, being the rare witnesses to the natural power and fury that usually hides from our view beneath the surface of the Earth. Besides, my will was up to date.

Cruise industry firsts highlight Crystal Serenity’s chic “extreme makeover”
Crystal Cruises’ award-winning Crystal Serenity has emerged from a $17 million redesign with chic new Crystal Penthouses (the coveted top accommodations) and dramatically transformed indoor/outdoor casual dining spaces, including the Trident Grill, Scoops ice cream bar, Tastes Bar, Lido Cafe, and Tastes restaurant, featuring a brand new global-inspired evening menu. Cruise industry-firsts include a chef’s herb garden as part of vibrant “vertical walls” of greenery and 70 new PURE hypoallergenic staterooms…………..More…………………

Carnival Cruise Lines partners with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring ‘Seuss at Sea’ to kids and families on Fun Ships
One ship, two ships, it’s Dr. Seuss on cruise ships! Carnival Cruise Lines today unveiled an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved children’s brand and favorite characters to the line’s fleet of 24 “Fun Ships.” In an industry first, the Carnival Seuss at Sea program will offer a variety of exciting More………….

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A valuable unique feature of AllThingsCruise is a complimentary e-card with vital cruise line and cruise ship contact information travelers can send to family members and others prior to departure.

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Looking for past Currents Newsletters? Just click here more…

We are interested and truly welcome and encourage feedback about our Currents newsletter. Please email any comments or suggestions to Heidi Allison, Executive VP & Group Publisher, at

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