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Cruise News and Information
January 14, 2013
Outdoors showers in a spectacular sea view bathroom on the Celebrity Reflection and what are the top 9 cruise travel trends for 2013?
We thought you might enjoy reading about what we think will be the cruise trends this year ….
From amenities like private outside showers while you gaze at the sea, to truly all-inclusive cruises with everything from shore excursions to airfare included, and 14 new river ships on order, the cruise industry continues to exceed expectations.
1. Cruise lines becoming all-inclusive. The luxury lines lead the way with the most inclusive packages with amenities like airfare and pre/post-hotel stays. Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn currently offer the most all-inclusive packages. See a listing of included amenities by line here.
2. Repositioning cruises a “must-do.” Repositioning cruises used to be utilitarian sailings, with more days at sea and fewer “bells and whistles” and ports of call than traditional cruises. New repositioning cruises integrate more unique ports than one would visit on destination cruises. Leading is Crystal Cruises, with an impressive offering in 2013. Read more about Crystal’s cruises here.
3. Demand swells for river cruises. Fourteen new ships are slated for 2013, including cruising on the mighty Mississippi. Some examples: Viking River has ordered 10 more ships and in 2014 Uniworld Boutique River Cruises will be launching a new Super Ship, the S.S. Catherine, on the Rhône and Saône rivers in Burgundy and Provence.
What makes a river cruise so appealing? Read a firsthand account of a France Cruises voyage.
4. Travelers want to see, not hear. To that end and because we are squarely in the middle of the digital age, consumer demand is calling for easy access to video footage of the lines and cruise destinations. AllThingsCruise has added a video library so travel consumers can see actual footage of the ships they are considering for future voyages. Visit the video library here.
5. Romance and love take center stage. A cruise is a wonderful way to celebrate or rekindle love and the cruise lines offer a host of settings and services to do just that.
• Princess Cruises’ “Lotus Spa” offers a couple’s massage in the suite reserved for two. They also offer the top romance themes to woo cruise travelers to cruise ships for engagements, weddings and honeymoons.
• Hapag-Lloyd’s 5-Star MS Europa offers a “Honeymoon Special,” with added extras if the voyage is taken within six months of the wedding. It’s also applicable for 10th, 20th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th and 65th wedding anniversaries (up to one month before or after the wedding anniversary). A copy of the marriage certificate is needed.
• Celebrity’s Reflection offers the chance to take a private outside shower as you watch the sea go by.
• And don’t forget specialized shore excursions, like an Exclusive Hana Picnic on a black-sand beach, Bosphorus Cruise by Private Boat or Roatan Island Escape Spa Package.
6. Cruise lines bring ship experiences to land. Celebrity recently chose the port of San Francisco as the site of the first ever cruise line pop-up restaurant. Choosing the Stable Cafe in the Mission District as its base of operations, Celebrity brought an “earth-and-sea” theme to the public with Celebrity’s Director of Culinary Operations, James Beard-featured chef John Suley.
7. Giving back. Now more than ever, the cruise lines are making impressive contributions to improving our world, with involvement in green initiatives, volunteer work and charitable contributions. Some recent noteworthy examples are Disney’s new global paper policy andFCCA member lines holiday deliveries.
8. Onboard entertainment unique partnerships. The cruise lines are becoming more creative and thinking outside the box with entertainment. Examples include Crystal Cruises partnership with Magic Castle, P&O’s Strictly Come Dancing Cruises and Cunard’s partnership with the Royal Opera House and RealD.
9. Families even more important. Whether it’s an annual family cruise or a multigenerational family reunion, families have become key to filling cruise ships. With this in mind, cruise lines are raising the bar to exceed family expectations for cruises. (If you’re traveling with young children, be sure to read CruiseCompete’s Annual Update for Traveling with Infants and Young Children.)
• Enhanced shore excursions
Disney has some intriguing offerings: Adults and children alike will learn cooking with a local chef in Tuscany; children dress up in traditional Russian outfits for a visit to St. Petersburg.
• Over-the-top accommodations
Families can spend more time together in their loft suites and private concierge areas and in private areas with such fun activities as miniature golf courses on the ships.
If you are considering a cruise for 2013, allow one of the cruise specialists at CruiseCompete to give you a quote.
And other notes of interest …
Cruise promotions are heating up … Celebrity is even offering free drinks!
The cruise lines are into “Wave Season,” the time of the year when they typically sell the most cruises. And it is when they offer all kinds of promotions. Now, at AllThingsCruise, we typically do not feature cruise line fare sales. There are simply too many to keep track of.
However, we do want you all to be aware that this is the time of year that you should be booking if you are seriously planning a voyage later in the year. Here is just one example:
Celebrity Cruises is offering some lucrative perks to customers who book a voyage by Jan. 27.
The line’s new 123 Go! promotion, which kicked off Monday, allows customers to choose from More…<….> …
Norwegian Breakaway will light up the night with fireworks show on every cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line is starting off 2013 with a “bang” by announcing that Norwegian Breakaway, the line’s newest ship debuting this May in New York City, will feature a fireworks show on every cruise. The environmentally-friendly pyrotechnics display will dazzle guests on the second-to-last night at sea each week, after the ship departs Bermuda during her summer inaugural season. To view a short animation of the fireworks show, please click here.
Building on the electrifying theme of the ship’s headlining Broadway show, ROCK OF AGES, the fireworks will be the grand finale of a decadent 1980s-themed deck party and will be set to a specially
selected playlist of classic 1980s hits by artists like Madonna, Devo and Prince………. …More……
New Cruise Forum, have you checked this out yet?
As we to 2013 we would like to announce our new cruise forum, for readers and experts to share ideas, impressions and reviews of the cruise lines and their ships. This is going to be a fantastic way to have discussions and share information within our cruise community.
Which Line is for Me?
We have a great resource page for each and every ship giving you all of the details for the ship you may be considering for your next voyage. Simply click here:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, is a video worth a thousand photos?
Enjoy real live footage of ships and the fabulous amenities they offer…. ….
Cruise Shore Excursions
CruiseCompete gives you access to higher quality cruise shore excursions at substantially lower prices than the cruise lines. Enjoy a more intimate 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!
Simply click on the name of a cruise line or cruise ship below to find available excursions. https://www.cruisecompete.com/shore_excursions/
Consumers “Kiss and Tell”
Wondering what other consumers have to say about CruiseCompete? We’d like to share some testimonials with you. https://www.cruisecompete.com/cruisecompete_reviews.php
Cruise Ship Reviews
What do other consumers have to say about the lines and ships?
Video of the week: Book Your Cruise Early or Book it Late? The never-ending question. Summary: The best cruise deals are usually found by booking either well in advance of the sailing or through booking a last-minute cruise. Learn when it's to your advantage to book your cruise early or book it late. Video Run Time: 2:35
Looking for past Currents Newsletters? Just click here for more……. ….
We welcome and encourage feedback about our CruiseCompete Currents newsletter: We’re interested in your feedback. Please email any comments or suggestions to Heidi Allison, Executive VP & Group Publisher, at Heidi@AllThingsCruise.com