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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
March 23, 2016

The Best in Upscale Contemporary Cruise Line 
Family Suites

Rare Whale Gives Birth Off Dana Point

A Date With a Turtle: Snorkle,
Sail and Dine With the Turtles
Up To 75% off Shore Excursions!

Crystal’s Air Service Begins April 2016 – New Crystal Luxury Air Fleet Will Compliment Itineraries

The Best in Upscale Contemporary Cruise Line Family Suites

Is a family cruise in your future? Cruises make for an excellent family vacation, but it's important to plan carefully if you want to find the cruise that’s right for everyone. One important thing to consider are the staterooms to book for your family, as you’ll all be traveling together for an extended amount of time.

The experts at CruiseCompete have done the research for you, giving insight into some of the best family cabins available on the various lines. Bear in mind, this is just a sampling of what the lines have to offer; there are many cabins, on many lines, that might be well suited to your family’s particular needs.

Here’s a look at some of CruiseCompete’s favorite cabins for families on today’s Upscale Contemporary cruise lines: Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises

Royal Caribbean International – Royal Suite Star Class/Royal Loft Suite

The Royal Suite Star Class, a series of family-friendly suites, is an excellent family option that offers an all-inclusive experience and is available on Royal Caribbean's Oasis and Quantum class ships.

The Ultimate Beverage Package, specialty restaurants, a complimentary minibar, complimentary internet, access to the spa’s thermal room, daily gratuities, and in-suite movies are all included. Plus, enjoy your personal Royal Genie, a 24-hour service to attend to your every need. 

The Royal Loft Suite features a baby grand piano, indoor and outdoor.

Pricing for the Royal Loft Suite for 7-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise departing April 15, 2018. is $1,991.57 per person per night, not including port taxes and fees. 

Click here to learn more about Royal Caribbean International.

To see Royal Caribbean International specials, click here.

To get a quote for Royal Caribbean International, click here.

Norwegian Cruise Lines – 3 Bedroom Garden Villa

Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a number of impressive family options in various suites across their fleet.  One especially well appointed suite is the 3 Bedroom Garden Villa, which covers an expansive 6,694 square feet and features a private terrace. Amenities for these deluxe accommodations include butler service, champagne, a custom selection of liquor, fruit, bottled water and sodas. Plus complimentary limousine service from pier to airport.

Pricing for the 3 Bedroom Garden Villa, on 7- Day Bahamas and Florida from New York departing August 26, 2017 is $1,353 per person per night, not including port taxes and fees. 

Click here to learn more about Norwegian Cruise Lines.

To see Norwegian Cruise Lines specials, click here.

To get a quote for Norwegian Cruise Lines , click here.

MSC Cruises – Royal Suite 

One family option offered aboard the MSC Divina is the Royal Suite (the Sophia Loren suite), This suite measures 560 square feet and includes 24-hour butler service, unlimited drinks in MSC Yacht Club areas or from your minibar, and exclusive access to One Sun Deck and Top Sail Lounge. 

Other family friendly options to consider when sailing with MSC are the Executive & Family suites,  found in the MSC Yacht Club, aboard the 4,345-passenger sister ships Divina or Preziosa, or the 4,363-passenger sister ships Fantasia or Splendida .

The Executive & Family Suites (measuring 425 to 547 square feet, without a balcony) each feature a sleeping area (with a double bed that can be converted into two singles) and a partitioned-off living room area with a pullout sofa for two. They accommodate up to four guests and tout extras like a spacious wardrobe and bathtub-equipped bathroom.

And here’s a helpful tip: On the Divina or Preziosa, you can book two adjacent Executive & Family Suites together (ask for staterooms 12002 and 12004), for a super-suite configuration that sleeps up to 8.

Pricing for the Royal Suite on the MSC Divina for a 7- Night Caribbean and Antilles Cruise, departing April 29, 2017 is $516.21 per person per night, not including port taxes and fees. 

Click here to learn more about MSC Cruises.

To see MSC Cruises specials, click here.

To get a quote for MSC Cruises, click here.


Viking Ocean Cruises- The Owner’s Suite

Viking Ocean Cruises offers a lavish family option with the Owner's Suite, which encompasses 1,448 square feet, including the balcony. The suite was personally designed by Viking's Chairman Torstein Hagen, and is filled with luxurious touches throughout.

Amenities include a mini bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and snacks replenished daily, a welcome bottle of Champagne, free dry cleaning and laundry service, and  priority bookings for shore excursions, The Chef's Table, and Spa treatments.

The Owner's Suites pricing currently starts at $2,116.55 per person, double occupancy, per night for a 10 day Empires of the Mediterranean cruise, not including taxes and fees. 

Click here to learn more about Viking Ocean Cruises.

To get a quote for Viking Ocean Cruises, click here.

All prices quoted are subject to change.

For more Family Travel resources, please visit

Click here to download your copy of the 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner.

To view what is typically included on these lines, check out our all-inclusive guide here:


Rare whale gives birth off Dana Point. This amazing baby and mother were filmed by Captain Dave’s team and guests.

If you have a cruise out of LA or San Diego or find yourself in that part of the world, I highly recommend you take pre trip or post trip. One of my favorite hotels in the world is Balboa Bay Club.

The restaurant is old world with incredible food and you sit on the patio looking at multimillion dollar yachts.   the location is perfect if you are wishing to be in the heart of several little cities that are well worth the visit.  Laguna, Laguna Hills, Corona Del Mar, Dana Point and of course Newport Beach.  

And of course the service, amenities, spa and rooms are perfect at the Balboa Bay Club.

To watch the amazing video, click here:

When you go to this area you absolutely must go on a whale watching expedition. The company we like is:

Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari
Dolphin and Whale Watching Since 1995

Email me if you wish and one of our team will set up the hotel and tour for you.


Crystal’s Air Service Begins April 2016 – New Crystal Luxury Air Fleet Will Compliment Itineraries

Crystal Cruises has officially revealed the newest addition to its fleet- a lavishly outfitted Bombardier Global Express XRS jet.  The aircraft will enter service for Crystal on April 3, 2016, and is designed a private flying option to accommodate just 12 guests in absolute luxury and comfort.

Crystal Bombardier Global Express XRS jet

“‘Crystal Luxury Air will open tremendous possibilities for luxury travelers seeking the next level of ease and exclusivity during their journeys,” says Crystal president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “And in the spirit of all things Crystal, and ensuring we offer customization to our guests, Crystal Luxury Air allows our travel agent partners and guests the ability to truly customize their vacation experiences to privately fly to combine our cruise, yacht, river, residence, and air experiences.’”

The Global Express jet has been extensively refitted with three spacious cabins, which will accommodate business activities, relaxation and sleeping quarters. The forward cabin boasts four executive wide club seats with foldout tables for dining or meeting; mid cabin is configured for conferences, with seating for five and workstation and cabinet; the aft cabin offers a three-person divan that can be transformed to a large bed. A nicely appointed galley is located forward, featuring a cold air chiller, high temp oven, microwave and Aerolux Nespresso machine.

Technical amenities include a wide range of electronic video supplies, and laptop imagery on all cabin monitors, XM Radio, surround sound, a 31.5” LCD TV, high speed internet and in-flight phone service.

Chartered flights aboard Crystal’s Global Express jet are now available for booking and will fly guests virtually anywhere in the world, with a max flight range at just under 12 hours per leg. The line will also add a Boeing 777 to its growing fleet in 2017 and 787 Dreamliner in 2018.”

Read more about Crystal Cruises.

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.


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

Explore More On CruiseCompete:

Cruise Port Reviews  
Cruise Ship Reviews  
Cruise Videos  
River Cruises  
Shore Excursions 
Weddings at Sea 

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