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Cruise News and Information
December 30, 2013

Shopping for Macarons in the St Germain District of Paris,
Princess CaysPrincess Cruises’ Private Island
and Time-Sensitive Offers Directly From the Cruise Lines

Wishing you & yours a New Year filled with peace, good health, happiness & memorable travels.

Here are some Time-Sensitive Offers Directly From the Cruise Lines we have found for you………
We have compiled the latest amenities (cabin upgrades and cabin credits, plus more) and other special offers directly from the cruise lines for you to see here: https://blog.cruisecompete.com/

Avalon Waterways Book Now deal offers a $1000 per couple savings on select 2014 Avalon Europe sailings. For available sailings click here.
Book a select Central America or Coastal California cruise with Azamara Club Cruises and receive up to $1000 ChoiceAir credit per couple. For sailing dates click here.

Celebrity Cruises 123 go! Promotion and choose one of three great offers. Choose two or select Europe cruises. Choices are a free classic beverage package for two, free gratuities of up to $30 per day or an onboard credit of up to $300 per stateroom. For more information click here.

Crystal Cruises is offering exceptional savings on 2014 and early 2015 voyages to Asia aboard the Crystal Symphony. Plus, if your cruise is 11 days or longer you will also receive savings of up to $800 per person in Air Allowance credits. For dates click here. Offer expires January 3.

Cunard Line’s Royal Upgrade Celebration piles on the savings. Book your 2014 Europe or Transatlantic cruise before February 28, 2014, and receive a balcony stateroom for the same fare as an oceanview stateroom, free gratuities and reduced deposit. Click here for more information.

Holland America Line’s Above and Beyond promotion offers some great perks when you book an ocean view stateroom or higher. Book a select cruise sailing between June and December 2014 with an ocean view stateroom or above and receive free signature beverage package on select Europe cruises and onboard spending credit of up to $400 per stateroom on other destinations. Click here for details.

MSC Cruises is offering a 2 for 1 Plus savings. Book your select MSC cruise by March 31, 2014, and receive 2 for 1 cruise fare, plus up to $400 shipboard cruised, complimentary beverage package and prepaid service charges. For details click here.

Oceania Cruises is offering exceptional savings on Alaska cruises. Sail Alaska’s Unspoiled Wilderness with Oceania and receive 2 for 1 cruise fares, free airfare and early booking savings of up to $2000 per stateroom! For detail and sailing dates click here.

Save 50% plus receive included airfare from Los Angeles on all 2014 and 2015 sailings aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Find out more here.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Why Choose promotion is for great deals in one. Book a select Regent Seven Seas cruise by December 31 and receive free unlimited Wi-Fi, Up to $500 per suite shipboard credit, Business class air from $399 and land programs from $499. See more details here.

Royal Caribbean International is offering a free premium beverage package on select transatlantic voyages when you book a balcony stateroom or suite. This offer expires February 28, 2014. See voyages here.

Star Clippers is offering great savings on spring 2014 Grand Voyages. Receive up to 50% savings and free roundtrip air from select cities. See sailings here.

Viking River Cruises is offering 2 for 1 cruise fares plus up to Free Air on their 2014 Waterways of the Tsars Cruise. This 13- day cruise travels between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Departure dates include 10/8/14, 10/9/14, 10/10/14, 10/11/14 and 10/12/14. Fares start at $5096 per person. For information click here. Offer expires January 31, 2014.

Voyages to Antiquity is offering free air from 60 American locations when you book a Grand Voyages, including their Treasures of the Far East journey.

Windstar Cruises is offering special pricing on their Caribbean sailings. Book before December 31, 2013, and enjoy 2 for 1 cruise fares plus bonus savings of up to $1000 per stateroom. Click here for more details.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is reducing or waiving single supplements on select 2014 sailings. Click here for dates and details.

Read about more current cruise line deals by visiting Cruise Market Dossier at: https://blog.cruisecompete.com/

This month’s highlighted cruise line is Princess Cruises!

About Princess Cruises: 

Princess Cruises’ more than 100 different itineraries offer travelers the opportunity to literally cover the globe, with sailings to all seven continents that call at approximately 350 ports and destinations around the world. Destinations include the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, Hawaii, Tahiti/French Polynesia, Asia, India, Africa, Canada/New England, Antarctica and world cruises. Passengers can enhance their cruise experience through the Adventures Ashore® program, featuring nearly 4,000 in-port excursions worldwide, and the company's expanding cruise tour offerings enable passengers to combine their cruise with a full land tour.
 
Princess cruise ships are pleasingly designed, with a variety of major features and intimate spaces. They call it "Big Ship Choice, Small Ship Feel," which means ships are outfitted with all the deluxe amenities that you'd expect from a first-class hotel – from 24-hour room service to chocolates on your pillows at night. Families especially love the Movies Under the Stars.
 
Best for:
Couples, families and older singles that prefer a large ship and an active environment with a multitude of entertainment options.
 
Those seeking a private island experience:
Princess Cruises visits Princess Cays, which is located on the southern portion of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas, approximately 80 miles from Nassau. This lovely island features white-sand beaches and turquoise waters that make for great snorkeling and swimming. Water lovers can also rent aqua bikes, seaboards, paddleboats, clear-hull kayaks, sailboats or float rafts. Guests looking for pure relaxation can do some shopping, taste the island cuisine and exotic cocktails or just soak up the warm Caribbean sun. There are plenty of beach umbrellas, tiki huts and hammocks hung beneath dozens of shady trees.

More…

Rankings from actual consumers: The Ocean Princess ranks 4.56 of 5.00.

Reviewer 4sure2u says: “The service was consistently outstanding. We really did escape completely.” More…

See more Ocean Princess reviews here https://allthingscruise.com/cruise-reviews/reviews/Cruise-Ships/Princess-Cruises/sbr/date_desc/189/ocean-princess.htm

Wondering about other Princess ships? Read all Princess Reviews here…

Princess Cruises' voyages provide excellent facilities for families and children. To read more about their children’s programs, please click here.

Here’s a fantastic Princess Cruises Deal!
15nt Hawaii RT San Francisco $1171
15-day Hawaiian Islands Roundtrip From San Francisco - 15 Days - Starting in San Francisco, California, stops include, Hilo, Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii, Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii, Ensenada, Mexico, and San Francisco, California
2014 Sails: Jan 4, Jan 19, Feb 3, Feb 18, Mar 22, Apr 13 and Apr 28.
https://www.cruisecompete.com/specials/deal/176025

See more Princess Cruises Deals here: https://www.cruisecompete.com/specials/lines/princess_cruises/1

CruiseCompete is partnered with Shore Excursions Group – the largest shore excursions company in the world which features more than 2,000 excursions in cruise ports all over the world. These excursions provide an excellent alternative to cruise line excursions – they have fewer people, better prices and an unbeatable series of guarantees.
  1. Guaranteed Better Prices
  2. Guaranteed Fewer Guests
  3. Guaranteed Return-to-Ship on Time
  4. Guaranteed Satisfaction or Your Money Back
  5. Guaranteed Tour Departures
To see all of the shore excursions by ship simply click here: 
https://www.cruisecompete.com/shore_excursions/

To see shore excursions by port, click here: 
https://www.cruisecompete.com/shore_excursions_by_port.php

Frequently asked question about CruiseCompete Shore Excursions:
How much physical activity is involved in the tours?

The level of activity varies by tour. In order to help you understand the level of activity involved in each tour, we have created the following three categories.

Minimal Physical Activity: Only light walking and no major climbing required. You may need to negotiate a few steps.
Moderate Physical Activity: A fair amount of walking is required, and you may need to climb up full flights of steps and or negotiate uneven terrain.
Significant Physical Activity: A large amount of walking and or climbing is required, often over unpaved and uneven terrain. You should be in good physical health if you reserve one of these tours.
Please refer to the specific tour descriptions to see which category applies to the tour. If you have more specific questions, please contact one of our Shore Excursion Experts during normal business hours.

For the ultra-luxury lover in you

If you’ve ever considered a World Cruise aboard luxury line Cunard, now is the time to book. In 2015, Cunard will celebrate 175 years of sailing and is offering a choice of three World Voyages on its ships the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. These itineraries will visit stunning and iconic destinations around the globe from Japan and Bangkok to Cape Town … and beyond.
If you book your 2015 Cunard Full World Voyage by 28 February 2014, you will receive the following benefits:
  • Reduced Deposit of 15%
  • On Board Credit  of up to $3,000 per stateroom
  • Complimentary Hotel & Dining Charges
  • Gala World Voyage Special Event, Unique Commemorative Gifts, Welcome Aboard Reception, Services of a World Voyage Concierge and World Voyage Cocktail Party
More…

Private Jets, All-Inclusive Resorts, Tahiti and the South Pacific – If this is what you dream about for your vacation, try the new VacationCompete http://www.vacationcompete.com/

To see more of what’s included on the lines, please click here: http://www.allthingscruise.com/all-inclusive.

Fun things happening on the cruise ships

Craft Cruises- Pursue your hobby at sea. If you’re one many who enjoy crafting as an ongoing hobby, however, you might consider taking a look at the many “Craft Cruises” available that combine a vacation at sea with your favorite pastime. For example, AmaWaterways has “Knitter’s Cruise” for 2014 that sounds absolutely charming and fantastic for hobbyists. More…

River Cruising

Barbara Orr is experiencing the Christmas Markets in Europe aboard the ultra-luxurious Scenic Crystal river ship. Read her reports here.

Uniworld honors D-Day with 70th anniversary cruise. “Nearly 70 years ago, a mighty armada embarked on an invasion that forever changed world history. The Nazi grip on Western Europe was cracked on June 6, 1944, as brave soldiers crossed a slender ribbon of sea from England into Normandy and initiated one of the most influential battles of WWII. D-Day has been recalled by the veterans who fought it, the newsreels that depicted it and thousands of dedicated historians – yet few have actually set foot on the infamous beaches.”
Uniworld describes the motivation for their “Paris & Normandy” cruise with those moving words, and provides an opportunity to explore history and the story that captures the Allies’ fight for freedom in WWII. More…

Family travel tips

A family tour of a Paris neighborhood with a local guide. Green, red or purple? Not crayons, French Macarons, the best cookie you could ever taste.
We’re in Gerard Merlot, a shop famous for macarons in the St Germain district of Paris, with Genevieve Robert, who we’ve met through a terrific company called Tours by Locals. You correspond ahead of your trip with a local guide who can tailor a tour to your liking—food, design, architecture, kids… I like that the guides are all locals and that you’re charged by the tour, not individually. “The point is with a private guide you can customize anything and be flexible,” says Robert, who also takes families to Giverny to see Monet’s house and the surrounding villages, Versailles and even Champagne. More…

The cruise experts at CruiseCompete have compiled a list of the best cruise line children’s programs and detailed their highlights. For a comprehensive listing of the lines and their full children’s program information, including the minimum ages accepted by each line, please click here.

Latest diaries of the AllThingsCruise writers

Barbara Orr is experiencing the Christmas Markets in Europe aboard the ultra-luxurious Scenic Crystal river ship. Read her reports here.

The lovely MSC Divina has arrived in Miami to begin sailing to the Caribbean. Read our first reports here.

Gerry Barker and wife Pam are sailing on the new Royal Princess. Here are their reports.

Kimberly Button brings us an up-close look at the much-anticipated Royal Princess. See her reports here.

Marcia Levin traveled to London with her grandson Jakob, 13, and then sailed home on the Queen Mary 2. Follow them here.

Cindy Boal Janssens sails to Alaska with grandchildren on HAL's Oosterdam. Read their adventures here.

Heidi Allison-Shane sailed across the Atlantic on the Cunard Queen Mary 2. Read her diary here.

An airline booking tool, cars, hotels and vacation packages that you might find of interest. Visit this new section here: https://allthingscruise.com/land-deals/

Private Jets, All-Inclusive Resorts, Tahiti and the South Pacific – if this is what you want for your vacation, try the new Vacation Compete http://www.vacationcompete.com/

Recent ship review from an AllThingsCruise site member:

November 26, 2013- “Clearly the best cruise we have ever experienced.”
Line: Viking River
Ship: Viking Idun
Reviewer: kcdale
Departure port: Budapest
Region visited: Europe
Cabin category: Balcony
Read the entire review here.

Shore excursion of the week:

Private Pyramids Along the Nile
(Pricing varies by size of your private party: 289/person for two down to $185/person for ten)

Begin your private Pyramid cruise excursion as you depart the pier for the approximate three-hour drive through the flat Egyptian desert landscape to Africa’s largest city, Cairo. Upon arriving at the outskirts of Cairo, you will proceed to the Giza Plateau to discover the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza. It is here that three pharaohs--Cheops, his son Chephren and grandson Mykerinus--erected impressive tombs to preserve their mummified remains in the afterlife. During your visit, you will have time for photos and the opportunity to enter Chephren’s Pyramid.

From here your excursion takes you to the Solar Boat Museum at the base of the Pyramid of Cheops. Inside is a reconstructed boat that was unearthed at this site after World War II. The Solar Boat was used in the funerary ceremonies of the Pharaoh Cheops over 4,000 years ago. This boat was probably used to carry the body across the Nile to the Pyramid on the Giza Plateau. At that time, the Nile flowed beside the pyramids. Several boats were used in the ceremonies. Five boat pits have been found around the Pyramid of Cheops in stone-lined pits, excavated into the Giza Plateau.

The next stop on your private shore excursion is the mystical Sphinx. With the body of a lion and the head of a man stretching out to a length of 240 feet, the mysterious Sphinx was carved out of solid natural rock around 2650 B.C. During your stop at Giza, you will have the opportunity to take a short ride on a camel. Following your visit, you will drive to the Papyrus Institute to see how ancient paper was made from the reeds along the Nile. There will be a short break for souvenir shopping at the adjacent bazaar.

A highlight of your cruise excursion will be a leisurely cruise along the Nile, the longest river in the world, while you enjoy lunch. After lunch, you will drive to the magnificent Egyptian Museum, the most important depository of Egyptian antiquities in the world. The museum is home to over 120,000 items, only a portion of which are in display in its more than 120 rooms. The artifacts date from 2700 B.C. to the 6th century A.D. It includes thousands of statues, jewels and the treasure of the boy king, Tutankhamun. Your tour includes a visit to the King Tut gallery, which includes the golden mask and items from the treasury. It does not include a visit to the Royal Mummy room. Following your tour, you will begin the three-hour return drive to Alexandria.
More…

Also check out the “Deals” section on AllThingsCruise … there are some fantastic opportunities in cruising here: https://allthingscruise.com/deal/

Newsworthy

American Cruise Lines has announced that it is building four new riverboats for American river cruising. Construction has already begun on the first two ships, with the first to begin cruising in the spring of 2015. The first two new riverboats will carry between 150 and 200 guests and will cruise the Mississippi River system and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The four new ships will enter service between 2015 and 2017. They will bring all the latest amenities and comforts to each area cruised, including the largest staterooms, private balconies, and spacious dining and lounge venues. At least one of the four new ships will operate cruises along the Columbia and Snake Rivers from the Pacific Coast to the Idaho border, more than 500 miles inland. It will be specially built for cruising in the Pacific Northwest with historic accents and modern conveniences. Every stateroom is designed to have panoramic views, private balconies, and room service. More…

Princess Cruises’ second “Cruising for a Cause” sailing will set sail in February to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special line-up of expert guests and celebrities who will help educate passengers about heart health. These guests include a renowned cardiac surgeon, a celebrity chef, an award-winning author, a four-time Super Bowl champion, and a beloved cast member from the hit television series The Love Boat. The benefit cruise will raise funds for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) programs and educational outreach.

Sailing from February 10-15, 2014, aboard Ruby Princess on a Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, the five-day voyage will offer passengers a heart-themed experience, focused not only on “affairs of the heart,” but also a variety of onboard features themed around healthy living and heart health awareness. More…

Special offerings we found on the Web

Here’s a great quote about travel:
“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.” 
― Hans Christian Andersen, The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography

If you’d love a book of some of the very best travel quotes, take a look at:
No Foreign Lands – 100 of the Most Inspirational Travel Quotes of All Time
Click here to purchase this book: https://www.createspace.com/3653050

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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