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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
February 24, 2014

The Best Way to See Alaska is a Scenic Cruise Tour,
Locking Eyes With a 500-Pound Silverback Mountain Gorilla,
Princess Cruises has a Rare Sale &
See Cruise Specials by Price, From Under $300 to Over $25,000

We have added a new category of specials for you; now you may see these specials by price.

Cruise Specials by Price:
Under $300 ~ Under $500 ~ Under $1,000 ~ $1,000 to $2,000 ~ $2,000 to $3,000 ~
$3,000 to $5,000 ~ $5,000 to $10,000 ~ $10,000 to $25,000 ~ Over $25,000

Click here to see these great special offerings:

Wondering about the differences between a shore excursion and a cruise tour? Cruise tours are a little different than a shore excursion. It’s a land tour of destinations in the interior of a region; areas that can’t be reached easily during the time frame allotted by a cruise ship’s stop in a port. They generally occur before or after a cruise and last three to eight days, depending on the destinations you’d like to visit. Alaska is the perfect destination for a cruise tour. Read more about them here.

If you would like a cruise tour expert (I have one who is able to offer up to a $500 cabin credit, depending on cabin type and, of course, subject to availability) to contact you please email me at

Deal of the week:
Princess Cruises’ 3 for Free event continues. For a limited time save up to $900 on select sailings plus receive the bonus from Princess Cruises’ 3 for free event including: Free shore excursion spending money, Free bottle of wine; and a Free 8″x10″ custom framed portrait. For details click here.

Everyone has loved Princess Cruises since their ships starred in the television series “The Love Boat.”

My personal favorite is the Pacific Princess, carrying around 700 guests, and I have sailed on her many times. A little about this smaller ship:

Taking over the name of one of Princess' most legendary ships, the new Pacific Princess cruise ship is the perfect blend of a small-ship atmosphere with today's modern amenities. Combining the comforts of a modern cruise ship and an intimate size, this ship offers a boutique version of the service and choices found throughout the Princess fleet.

Pacific Princess has everything you need to enjoy an unforgettable vacation in Alaska, Asia/Orient, India/Asia or Tahiti/Hawaii.

See Reviews here for the lovely Pacific Princess:

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

Speaking of Alaska…take a look at our shore excursion of the week below – An ATV Midnight Sun Adventure:
Price: $119 Single Rider, $197 Double Riders, $350 Quad Rider
Price is per machine. Order the number of ATVs required, not the number of guests.
Tour is available June 6 through July 5.

Or view shore excursions by port here:

Time-sensitive offers directly from the cruise lines, just 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:

Here are some examples:

American Queen Steamboat Company: American Queen Steamboat Company is offering a free two cabin category upgrade on 2014 voyages when you pay in full at time of booking. For details click here.

Azamara Club Cruises: Book a cruise with Azamara Club Cruises and you can choose your own incentive as part of their Choices Choices Choices promotion. Choose from: Free $1000 per couple in onboard spending credits or free $1000 per couple in ChoiceAir credits or free stateroom upgrade ($1000 value per couple on average). Click here for details.

MSC Cruises MSC Cruises is offering 2 for 1 cruise fares plus your choice of: Up to $400 shipboard credit-up to $50 for Interior staterooms, up to $300 for Ocean view staterooms; Complimentary beverage package –10 Voucher Carnet White package for Interior Stateroom, up to 60 Voucher Carnet Green Package for Ocean view Stateroom, up to 80 voucher Carnet Black Package for Balcony stateroom or higher; Prepaid service charges. For more information click here.

Oceania: Oceania offering savings on transoceanic voyages. For a limited time Oceania is offering 2 for 1 fares and early booking savings of up to $3600, plus 50% reduced deposits on select transoceanic sailings. For sailings and details click here.

Princess Cruises’ 3 for Free event continues. For a limited time save up to $900 on select sailings plus receive the bonus from Princess Cruises’ 3 for free event including: Free shore excursion spending money, Free bottle of wine; and a Free 8″x10″ custom framed portrait. For details click here.

Seabourn: Seabourn Signature Savings Event continues for a limited time. Included in this promotion is: Complimentary Veranda Suite upgrade, Up to 15% savings on select combination cruises, and $1000 per suite shipboard credit for penthouse and premium suites. For more information click here.

Silversea: For a limited time Silversea Expeditions is offering complimentary round trip air or reduced business class air when you book select Asia Pacific expeditions. For sailing dates and details click here.

Windstar: For a limited time Windstar Cruises is offering special introductory rates on their 2015 Asia and Arabia sailings. Along with the introductory fares also enjoy: 2 for 1 Fares, Free exclusive private event and 2 Free Hotel nights. For sailing dates and details click here.

Read about more current cruise line deals and news by visiting Cruise Market Dossier at:

For the luxury lover in you:

Crystal Cruises is expanding its repertoire of ultra-luxury European cruises with nine maiden calls. The world’s most northern city and Ireland’s most Gaelic town join a collection of favorite romantic destinations like Barcelona and Venice, along with less-visited ports, like Korçula, Croatia; Greenock, Scotland; and Kristiansand, Norway, for a chic collection of 39 Northern Europe, Western Europe, and Mediterranean itineraries ranging from five to 16 days. More…

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced its 2015 Summer Collection featuring voyages to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Alaska, Canada/New England, the Caribbean & Panama Canal, Asia, Africa and South America. Voyages are anticipated to fill quickly with reservations opening February 19, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. The Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator will visit more than 185 ports in 68 countries during the 2015 summer season. Palamós and Almería, Spain; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Tyne (Newcastle), England; Izmir, Turkey; and Malmö, Sweden, are among the season’s 27 new ports. More…

River Cruising

The Great American Cruise: Thinking of taking a cruise, but don’t want to fly internationally? There are a large number of domestic ports, so most of us can sail on a cruise without ever having to fly. (See a map of U.S. cruise ports here.)  From these ports, you can cruise close to home, or go almost anywhere in the world. If you really want to stay domestic, though, you might start taking a look at U.S. river/coast cruises. There are many options in this arena, from Alaska to the Mississippi, to New England and beyond. More…

Fun things happening on the cruise lines:

Most of us are familiar with “The Sound of Music” It has run on stages throughout the world in various incarnations since 1959, including a recent live television version starring country star Carrie Underwood. If this musical is a favorite of yours, you may be interested in Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s exclusive offer – they have scheduled onboard performances by the granddaughter of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp, Elizabeth Von Trapp, on select 2014 itineraries and departures from June to September. More…

Locking eyes with an almost 500-pound silverback mountain gorilla, with just a few feet of African forest standing in between, travelers participating in Crystal Cruises’ newest Overland Adventure may share a scene few on earth will ever see. With just 600 mountain gorillas left in the world, and only a handful of active guests permitted on the excursion, Crystal’s new “Bwindi Forest Gorilla Tracking Experience” is an ultimate bucket list trip. More…

No cruise is complete without shore excursions. Here’s a frequently asked question about CruiseCompete shore excursions:

What should I wear?

While the specific recommended attire is described in the individual tour descriptions, travelers should always wear comfortable shoes and use sunscreen, a sun hat and sunglasses in locations with ample sun.

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.

Shore Excursion of the Week: ATV Midnight Sun Adventure
After checking in at the tour office and filling out your paperwork, you will have a safety briefing on the operation of your ATV. Then get ready for some real Alaskan excitement on the ATV Midnight Sun Adventure! Whether a novice or expert ATVer, this trip is a memorable experience in the Alaskan wilderness on your own automatic one- or two-passenger ATV!

Riding along old coal mining and ATV trails, you will enjoy the Alaskan wilderness and the 360-degree views from two breathtaking vistas, as the Midnight Sun creates a rainbow of sunset colors. Enjoy a snack and hot chocolate before riding on back-country trails and a creek bed. Total tour covers about 10 miles.

The total time on the trails is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. A complimentary shuttle is provided to the tour office from several of the area hotels. (A list will be included in your e.ticket) Depending on the length of your transfer, the total duration of the tour can be up to 2 hours 30 minutes from pick-up to drop-off. A helmet, goggles and gloves will be provided. Helmets are required by law. Eye protection--either our goggles or your sunglasses or glasses--is mandatory.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are staying in the Talkeetna area (McKinley Princess Lodge, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, etc.), you are approximately 100 miles from the Denali Park main gate area where this tour departs from. You would be responsible for your own transportation to the Denali area.

Read more about this excursion:

Dreaming of a few hours with your family on a private island, swimming with the dolphins, or participating in a yacht race? Consider the shore excursion options on your next cruise by finding your cruise here, and seeing shore excursion ideas:

Spending the day on a private island – the ultimate port of call … All about the private islands:

Latest diaries of the AllThingsCruise writers

Marcia Levin was aboard the Norwegian Getaway for its Miami christening and inaugural. “Mix Latin music and ambiance, a potpourri of restaurants ranging from Brazilian to Chinese, a strong Caribbean vibe and Norwegian marine history and what do you get? Getaway. Yep, NCL’s brand, spanking new ship, the Norwegian Getaway, debuted at PortMiami yesterday and press and travel agents had a preview of its first sailing this afternoon to the Eastern Caribbean.” Read her impressions here.

Barbara Orr visits Turkey – We awoke to bright sunshine and a good Turkish breakfast – olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, little thin pancakes, toasted bread, jam and fresh fruit. Our Turkish guide, Serdar Akerdem, tells us “If you want to know people, you should eat with the people and you should eat what they eat!” And I believe that is true, and that one of the ways to access a country’s culture and history is through its cuisine. More…

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

Jackie Finch sails on the Carnival Magic from Galveston, escaping the frigid weather in the Midwest. Read her reports here.

David G. Molyneaux travels in Cambodia and Vietnam aboard the 16-passenger Avalon Angkor riverboat. Follow his adventures here.

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

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

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

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

Cruise lines going all-inclusive? What is included on your cruise? We have put together this guide to help you know in advance what the lines are offering from airfare to pre- and post-hotel stays, to transfers, wine and liquor, shore excursions and gratuities. Some have it all, others don’t.

An airline booking tool, cars, hotels and vacation packages that you might find of interest. Visit this new section here:

Private Jets, All-Inclusive Resorts, Tahiti and the South Pacific – if this is what you want for your vacation, try the new VacationCompete

Also check out the “Deals” section on AllThingsCruise … there are some fantastic opportunities in cruising here:

Great quote about travel:

“He who travels much has this advantage over others – that the things he remembers soon become remote, so that in a short time they acquire the vague and poetical quality, which is only given to other things by time. He who has not traveled at all has this disadvantage – that all his memories are of things present somewhere, since the places with which all his memories are concerned are present.” ― Giacomo Leopardi

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:

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.

AllThingsCruise – Find us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter!

Looking for past Currents Newsletters? Just click here for 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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