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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
May 21, 2014

The Family Vacation: Reimagined, Cruise Style; The Quintessential Venice Experience, Gliding Silently Through a Labyrinth of Canals;Oceania Cruises and Their Continually Impressive Rankings

Announcing “Super Specials” Handpicked Cruise Offerings

Hand Picked Deals with Substantial Perks and Amenities from the CruiseCompete Travel Experts

Announcing a very special area on the CruiseCompete website.  Our experts have searched through all of the deals out there and handpicked these special offers just for our visitors and you!

For example, a Celebrity Cruise to Bermuda is offered from $673, which is less than $100 per night.  For details, https://www.cruisecompete.com/specials/deal/184572

To see all specials, please click here:  https://www.cruisecompete.com/specials/

Please let me know what you think about our new Super Specials. We would love to hear what types of offers you are most-interested in seeing on our website. 
heidi@allthingscruise.com


A Venice Gondola Ride, an experience not to be missed!

Enjoy the quintessential Venice experience – a traditional gondola ride. This tour provides the most economical way to tour Venice, in an authentic Venetian gondola, as part of a group with a maximum of only 6 people.

As you glide silently through a labyrinth of canals, visiting parts of the city that are only accessible by this kind of transportation, you’ll appreciate a very different Venice far from the crowds of St. Mark’s Square. Lined by sumptuous Venetian palaces and punctuated by delicate bridges, a passage through these enchanting waterways is like a journey back in time to the glorious days of the Venetian Republic.

You’ll start your journey by traveling down the upper part of the Grand Canal, passing by the magnificent baroque Salute church, the ill-fated Ca’ Dario Palace and the famous Guggenheim Museum located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. Next, depart the Grand Canal and enjoy the more intimate labyrinth of small canals where you’ll see other important landmarks that include the Fenice Opera House, Mozart’s house and the beautiful San Moise’ church, to name a few.

The gondola ride will end back at the starting point of the tour. The gondola ride is 35 minutes and is not narrated. Most gondoliers speak only Italian.

Read more about this excursion by clicking here.  Then just click on the "Venice" link (under Mediterranean).

Shore Excursion, Questions, Answers, Ideas and Where do I go to start my tour?

Your booking confirmation will contain clear instructions on where and when to go to start each of your tours. It will also include instructions on what to do in the very unlikely event that you encounter difficulties in meeting up with your guide.

See more frequently asked CruiseCompete Shore Excursion questions here.

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 here.  

Or view shore excursions by port here.


Summer is almost here!  Have you planned your family vacation?

The family vacation: reimagined, cruise style. Families really can have it all: Well-designed, child friendly programs and amenities, paired with adult dining, accommodation and entertainment options … all in one place. That’s the beauty of today’s cruise experience.
 
If you’d like to read a report on a recent multigenerational family vacation, check out this diary from Bob Levinstein, CruiseCompete CEO, as he reports on his recent family cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic. Would this ship be able to keep all of us happy? My mother in her 70s, my wife and I in our 40s and our 7-year-old son…”  More…
 
And take a look at this diary from Heidi Allison-Shane, where she discusses what it’s like to travel with adult children. “The term ‘generation gap’ is not just an expression, so is there a way for Gen Y and the Baby Boomer parents to travel happily together?

The answer is “yes,” and can be found in a cruise, but the logistics can be tricky. More…

One thing to consider carefully is when planning a cruise with children is the extent of their children’s amenities. It goes without saying that Disney is one of the most widely recognized names in children’s entertainment. You’d have to have been living under a rock not to have visited one of their theme parks or watched at least some of their massive compilation of movies. This commitment to children’s interests is also present in their cruises, where their interactive programs, amenities and entertainment is unparalleled by any other line. More…
 
See more information on child friendly programs and amenities here.

Not planning on taking the kids? Some lines (especially high-end lines like Silversea Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, SeaDream Yacht Club, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Windstar Cruises and Azamara) cater more specifically to adults. Read more about their cruise line children’s policies here.

The CruiseCompete Cruise:

Have you heard about the very first CruiseCompete Cruise? We’re so very excited to share it with you, our loyal readers!
 
This “Presidents Cruise” will take place November 10, 2014, aboard Princess Cruises’ lovely Caribbean Princess.

Please join us and meet the CruiseCompete team!

This 5-night Princess Cruise is round-trip Ft. Lauderdale, with stops in Private Island Princess Cay and Nassau, the Bahamas.

Prices start at $499 for an inside cabin, $549 for an obstructed oceanview cabin, and $799 for a balcony guaranty (double occupancy). Port fees are included in pricing; additional government tax is $85 per person. This cruise comes with $50 Onboard Credit per cabin, compliments of CruiseCompete.

Also included:
  • A special gift for CruiseCompete guests
  • Meet & Greet cocktail party
  • Book a balcony cabin and receive a four-course champagne balcony breakfast – Reserve by May 10th
If you are interested in joining the CruiseCompete team for this cruise, please send me an email at Heidi@AllThingsCruise.com



Cruise Line of the Week: Oceania Cruises

Oceania’s motto is “Whatever you want, whenever you want.” Dining is open seating, though reservations are required at the alternative venues. Also in keeping with this motto, the dress code is country-club casual, with no formal nights. Entertainment includes some standard cruise-type shows, social events and lectures by distinguished scholars and authors. As the itineraries are destination-intensive, it is not as varied or as important as it is on big ships. All ships have small casinos, Canyon Ranch spas and fitness centers, which offer the usual aerobics classes, Pilates and yoga. More…

Our readers love Oceania Cruises. Read Oceania reviews here.

Voyages offered by Oceania Cruises can be found here.

Amenities offered by Oceania Cruises are here.

View Oceania Cruises dining options here.

Read Oceania Cruises alcohol beverage policies here.

Learn about Oceania Cruises weddings at sea or vow renewals at sea here.

Want to find out more about Oceania Cruises voyages or book one? Please visit CruiseCompete. 

Oceania Cruises has some fascinating shore excursions, too many to list … Just visit the Oceania Cruises shore excursions page here.


Time-sensitive offers directly from the cruise lines, just for you! 

AmaWaterways: AmaWaterways is offering several great promotions during May. For details click here.

Avalon Waterways: Save $1,000 per couple on select 2015 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises with 2015 Book Now Savings. Booking must be made, under deposit, and discount applied between May 7 and August 26, 2014, for travel at select times in 2015. For details and sailings click here.

Avalon Waterways: Avalon Waterways is waiving the single supplement on select 2014 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises. This promotion ends June 24, 2014. For sailing dates and details click here.

Azamara Club Cruises: For a limited time Azamara Club Cruises is offering double upgrades on select sailings when you book before May 31, 2014. With this promotion, book a club Veranda stateroom for the price of a Club Interior Stateroom! For details click here.

Celebrity Cruises: For a limited time save up to $1,000 off your cruise or get up to $1,000 to spend on board with Celebrity Cruises Take 2 promotion. Or you can get both offers by booking air travel using Celebrity's ChoiceAir. Cruise must be booked between May 1-31, 2014. Click here for details.

Crystal Cruises: Crystal Cruises has announced book now fares on select worldwide voyages with fares from just $1,360 per person. Book by June 30, 2014 for best fares. Click here for details.
Crystal Cruises celebrates 25 years with anniversary cruises from $2,025. Book by June 30, 2014. Click here for details.

Holland America Line: For a limited time Holland America Line is offering great savings on select sailings with their Summer on Sale promotion. For details click here.

Lindblad Expeditions: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is offering complimentary airfare on two upcoming fall expeditions - An Island Odyssey: Azores, Madeira, Canaries & Cape Verde, and Buenos

Aires, Rio and Brazil’s Wild Coast
. Set aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, both expeditions offer guests insight into a tapestry of cultures, iconic sites and experiences, and exceptional wildlife and habitats. All offers are for new bookings only and must be booked by July 31, 2014. Click here for sailings and details

Oceania Cruises: For a limited time Oceania Cruises is offering great savings no their Exotic Explorations. Savings include 2 for 1 cruise fares with free airfare and early booking savings of up to $4000 per stateroom. Fares are subject to increase on 9/3/2014. Click here for details. 


For the luxury lover in you

Two new lavish land programs allow Crystal guests to extend their vacations with five 2014 luxury cruises through North America’s East Coast and French Canada. Available on Crystal Serenity’s September-October voyages, the two- and three-night, pre- and post-cruise packages offer travelers the opportunity to explore beyond the rich New England/Canada cruise itineraries that begin or end in Québec City. Guests can choose from programs in Toronto and Niagara Falls, Montréal and Québec City, or enjoy a free transfer between Québec and Montréal to plan one’s own extended adventure. More…
 
Cunard Line is delighted to announce that actor and social media superstar George Takei will join Queen Mary 2 on her 28 July Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton. Guests and fans on board the eight-day voyage will be treated to two presentations in the Royal Court Theatre, followed by a Q&A session with the multi-talented star and dynamic personality. More…


For the active traveler
 
Crystal Cruises is inviting active travelers to lace up their running shoes and bring their healthy lifestyles along on their luxury cruise vacations – on board and ashore. The ultra-luxe line, renowned for its finely crafted shore programs, is debuting brand new Site Running Crystal Adventures with Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity European cruises beginning in May. An industry first, the new escorted experiences offer intimate and invigorating scenic 5-10k runs that vary from jogs past historical sites to nature runs through magnificent parks. These new offerings are the latest in Crystal’s rapidly expanding global repertoire of active group excursions, created to accommodate guests who want to maintain their commitment to exercise and relish unique and intimate ways to explore destinations. More…


Helpful Links

We've designed a new search category to make your cruise searches even easier!

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See cruise specials by price here. 

What do passengers really think about their cruise experiences? AllThingsCruise.com asks travelers to review their cruises right after they return, while impressions are still fresh on their minds. See the winners for all categories 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. See what’s offered here.

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



Cruise line news
 
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced that it has agreed with STX France to move forward on the order of a fourth Oasis-class ship for delivery in 2018. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. Fain and President and Chief Operating Officer Adam Goldstein, along with STX France Chief Executive Officer Laurent Castaing, announced the planned ship order at the keel-laying ceremony for the third Oasis-class ship at the STX shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. More…
 
The line also announced that Legend of the Seas’ year-round deployment for 2015-16, offering itineraries to breathtakingly beautiful destinations throughout Southeast Asia from Singapore in the summer season, and sailings to idyllic settings in Australia and the South Pacific during the winter season, will be from the cruise line’s new homeport of Brisbane, Australia. With Mariner of the Seas’ also sailing from Singapore in the winter season, Legend of the Seas’ new summer season will mark the first time that the cruise line will offer year-round sailings from Singapore. Additionally, Legend of the Seas will join Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas to total a record deployment of four Royal Caribbean ships in Australia. Legend of the Seas 2015-16 Southeast Asia, Australia and South Pacific cruises will open for sale on May 21, 2014. More…



Fun things happening with the cruise lines

Shopping with the chef. “An expensive delicacy, the plump porcini mushrooms looked great to me. But something about them raised the concerns of Rafael Peterkovic. He eyed the mushrooms carefully, thumped their thick stems with his forefinger. Sniffed them, too. Then asked the mushroom vendor if he could use a knife to slice one open.”  More…

Princess Cruises will delight soccer fans by showing all 64 games of the upcoming FIFA World Cup aboard nine cruise ships during the June 12-July 13 tournament. The matches will air on the line’s signature Movies Under the Stars® outdoor screens, which have space for hundreds of guests to enjoy the action. More…

A few years ago, Jamie Oliver, Food Network chef, established a program called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, aimed at improving nutrition for children in public schools. The philosophy? 
“Imagine a world where children were fed tasty and nutritious, real food at school from the age of 4 to 18. A world where every child was educated about how amazing food is, where it comes from, how it affects the body and how it can save their lives.” – Jamie Oliver.

Oliver is now set to open two Jamie’s Italian restaurants aboard Royal Caribbean Ships. The first will open on the Quantum of the Seas in October, and the second aboard Anthem of the Seas in 2015. More…



Latest diaries of the AllThingsCruise writers

Marcia Levin sails on NCL's new Getaway from Miami. Read her reports here.

Kimberly Button travels to Europe for the christening of Viking's new longships. She follows that with a river cruise. Read her reports here.

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.

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



Shore Excursion, Questions, Answers and Ideas

Where do I go to start my tour?
Your booking confirmation will contain clear instructions on where and when to go to start each of your tours. It will also include instructions on what to do in the very unlikely event that you encounter difficulties in meeting up with your guide.

See more frequently asked CruiseCompete Shore Excursion questions here.

Or view shore excursions by port here.

Latest diaries of the AllThingsCruise writers

Marcia Levin sails on Norwegian Cruise Lines new Getaway from Miami. Read her reports here.

Kimberly Button travels to Europe for the christening of Viking's new longships. She follows that with a river cruise. Read her reports here.

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.

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

Great quote about travel

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” -John A. Shedd

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 Heidi@AllThingsCruise.com

Cruise Specials

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Cruise Specials by Month… Now through December 2015. Get a month by month breakdown by clicking here.

Holiday Cruise Specials… Celebrate your holidays with a cruise. To see all the holiday options, click here.

 
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