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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
January 27, 2015

The Italian Riviera, a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Long-Standing Maritime Tradition;

Viking Ocean Cruises Ready to Accept Bookings; Carnival Cruise Lines New Ship


Plus: A Private Invitation to Experience Serious Savings on Hotels
 

Super Cruise Specials

 
$2,013 50% Deposit - Disney 7 Night Sailings Frozen Fun with great SBC
Disney Magic, Disney Cruise Line - Russia/Central Asia

$4,949 All Inclusive special starting from $4949! PLUS Free Insurance!
Seven Seas Navigator, Regent Seven Seas Cruises - Bahamas

$2,498 Experience Europe on a Viking River Cruise! Early Booking Discount!
Viking Mimir, Viking River Cruises - Europe

$598 Sail to the Caribbean on the Carnival Glory from $598!
Carnival Glory, Carnival Cruise Lines - Western Caribbean

$1,129 Save up to HALF off the second guest! PLUS up to $300 onboard credit!
Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International - Eastern Caribbean

$1,089 Complimentary Beverage Package & Onboard Credit!
Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Cruises - Eastern Caribbean

$336 7-NT Serenade OTS - Last Minute Promo fr $336 pp
Serenade of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International - Western Caribbean

$2,615 7-NT Viking River Promo w/shipboard credit
Viking Lofn, Viking River Cruises - Europe

$599 7-NT Msc Poesia Western Med Promo
MSC Poesia, MSC Cruises - Mediterranean

$3,391 9-NT Azamara Journey w/shipboard credit.
Azamara Journey, Azamara Club Cruises - Mediterranean
 

More Cruise Specials
 
 

In case you missed this special email we are publishing here in Currents for you….
 
A Gift from CruiseCompete CEO Bob Levinstein.

 

Thank you for being a member of CruiseCompete. Saving people time and money on their vacations has long been our passion. In that spirit, please let me tell you a story.
 
On December 2nd, I decided to take my family to Clearwater, Florida, for a week over Christmas break. I had a lot of points on a major high-end hotel brand and thought I might use those, but the point levels required for rooms over the holiday put this out of reach.
 
So I shopped around several major hotel sites: Expedia, Travelocity and Hotels.com. Holiday-season hotel rates can be brutal: the best they could do for the hotel I wanted was $229/night.
 
But as CruiseCompete was getting ready to announce our partnership with Last Minute Travel Club (LMTClub), I checked out their rates. Unbelievably, it was just $113.24 per night. For a four-star, major brand hotel right on the beach in Clearwater. Over Christmas break.
 
And while not all stories are true, mine is. Please click here:
https://www.cruisecompete.com/userhoteldeals.php
 to see screen shots of the pricing I referenced above.
 
The reason these great deals are available is that LMTClub is different than other hotel sites. While other sites are just large, online travel agencies, LMTClub actually buys hotel rooms in bulk at discounted rates
from more than 15,000 hotels, then resells those rooms and passes the savings on to you. While LMTClub usually charges an annual membership fee of $49.95, CruiseCompete members have access to these amazing hotel deals with no fee.
 
To search hotels, just log into your CruiseCompete account at:
https://www.cruisecompete.com/login_user.php.
 
Click on Wholesale Hotel Deals in the top right, or simply scroll down and click on: "We'll prove it: Click here."
 
Thank you for the trust you put in CruiseCompete. It's an honor to have you as a customer.
 
Travel safe! I wish you and yours a fantastic year in 2015.
 
Cheers!
 
Bob
 
Bob Levinstein
CEO
CruiseCompete.com

 

The Italian Riviera. A Rolls Royce Phantom. A long-standing maritime tradition. These are the secret ingredients to properly lay down the keel of the world’s most luxurious ship.


A sleek black Rolls Royce Phantom transported the three symbolic coins to the keel laying event.  Upon arrival, a dapper butler emerged with a red velvet pillow carrying the coins to be welded into the keel, including a rare 1921 U.S. silver coin known as the Peace Dollar symbolizing the safe passage of Seven Seas Explorer; a 1959 silver Italian Lire representing the year the Fincantieri shipyard was established; and a commemorative coin specially minted for this occasion.

As of now, guests are one step closer to stepping foot aboard Seven Seas Explorer.  Reservations for Seven Seas Explorer’s inaugural season are now open exclusively for Seven Seas Society® members. The sailings become available to the general public starting Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

Building the most luxurious cruise ship of the 21st century is a team effort – from the senior leadership team to the officers, staff and crew that will call Seven Seas Explorer home. But no project of this magnitude can properly move forward without the input of our esteemed guests and loyal travel partners.

We will keep you posted on the new developments of Regent Seven Seas new Ship.

About:
The New Seven Seas Explorer® will be spaciously intimate, breathlessly elegant and perfectly staffed to offer Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ special brand of all-inclusive luxury. The summer of 2016 will herald not only the launch of the most luxurious ship to sail the seven seas, but also the moment when you can experience the new standard in elegance and sophistication. Journey to the world’s most beautiful places in spacious designer suites, indulge in a decadent treatment at the world renowned Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, enjoy a musical performance in a plush lounge, and delight in extensive gourmet dining throughout the day and night.

Please see a charming diary of a Baltic cruise here and you will see why this is such a special destination.

Reservations for the New Seven Seas Explorer® are open now for Seven Seas Society Members Only

Bookings Open To the Public February 4, 2015
 

About Viking Ocean Cruises (Part of Viking River Cruises) Exploring the World in Comfort® 


Whether on river or ocean cruises, Viking Cruises offers cruises that are destination focused and carefully crafted with a mix of cosmopolitan and smaller ports of interest.
With three sister ocean going ships now on order, Viking developed its ocean cruises by leveraging extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises® passengers, and with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are designed for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local nightlife or evening performances. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture. In addition, Viking Inclusive Cruising provides unparalleled value—with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; Wi-Fi; self-service laundry and 24-hour room service—a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.

Viking Ocean Cruises is best for:
Those who love a new ship, couples who have cruised on Viking River and at this time we believe all types of travelers will like this new experience.
Those interested in a destination immersion.
Those who prefer a more all-inclusive experience.

The ships of Viking Ocean Cruises:
Viking Ocean Cruises® will launch three ocean ships –Viking Star in 2015, followed by Viking Sea and Viking Sky in 2016. Viking Ocean Cruises’ first ocean ship – the 930-passenger Viking Star, to be christened in May – will take on its first guests in April in its maiden season in Scandinavia & the Baltic and the Western & Eastern Mediterranean. Like their sister ship, Viking Sea and Viking Sky will sail in Scandinavia & the Baltic and the Western & Eastern Mediterranean.

The destinations served by Viking Ocean Cruises:
Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky will sail in Scandinavia & the Baltic and the Western & Eastern Mediterranean.
For more about Viking Ocean Cruises please click here.
For more about Viking River Cruises, please click here.

The Carnival Vista

Carnival Vista, unveiled last week at a media event in New York, is a significant departure in design from previous Carnival Cruises cruise ships. Her design is meant to connect passengers with the sea by offering great views (or Vistas) of the ocean at almost every turn and with most venues having indoor/outdoor spaces. 
Scheduled to launch in May 2016, Carnival Vista at 133,500 tons will be the largest ship in the fleet and will come with some “firsts at sea” as well as new features for Carnival.  These include
  • The first-ever IMAX® Theatre on a ship and Thrill Theater, with multi-dimensional special effects experience.  Both are part of the Carnival Multiplex, a first at sea, complete with concession stand.
  • Carnival’s first onboard brewery at the RedFrog Pub with indoor/outdoor seating, creating ales and lagers which passengers can enjoyed on tap at the bar or from unique tabletop taps that allow guests to pour their own beer.
  • SkyRide, cruising’s first pedal-powered, an open-air cycling on an 800-foot track suspended 150 feet above the sea; and SkyCourse, a suspended ropes course. Both are part of expanded outdoor activity with a new sports hangout, The Clubhouse at SportSquare¸ offering mini-bowling, ping-pong, arcade basketball, and more.
  • Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first raft-riding water tube 455-foot slide in an expanded water park
  • Seafood Shack, a New England-inspired, casual indoor/outdoor dining venue, fresh lobster rolls, steamed lobster, fried shrimp, crab cakes, fried clams, available for purchase.
  • Family Harbor, a new dedicated family area with cabins accommodating up to five, and specially-designed to give privacy to both parents and kids.  The area also has the new Family Harbor Lounge, the ultimate family hang out with large-screen TVs, games, complimentary breakfast and snacks, and a family concierge desk. Carnival Vista will be the second ship in the fleet to feature Dr. Seuss Bookville.
  • The line’s popular Havana experience has expanded inside and outdoors areas.  Located aft, it includes a new Havana Pool in a tropical setting with thatched patio huts; Havana Bar, for daytime libation and a Latin dance club by night; and the new Havana Cabanas accommodations with private outdoor lanai-styled patios complete with lounge chairs and hammock. 
  • Deck 5 will offer the first-ever outdoor seating at specialty eateries and bars including Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse; Japanese-style Bonsai Sushi restaurant; Cherry on Top, the sweet shop with a new mixed-to-order ice cream creation bar and a myriad of candy options.  Passengers will also find some familiar Carnival features: Guy’s Burger Joint; BlueIguana Cantina; BlueIguana Tequila Bar; RedFrog Rum Bar and mixologists at the Alchemy Bar.      
  • Reflections and Horizons, the main dining rooms, have striking modern interiors by BigTime Design Studios, decidedly different décor than previous Carnival ships. Also new, Horizons has a bar inside the room.
  • The two-level Cloud 9 Spa will feature the line’s first infra-red sauna and hamam, and special “experience showers” that provide a soothing fragrance element, along with a high-tech indoor cycling studio.
  • Carnival will return to Europe for the first time in three years with the ship’s inaugural Mediterranean itineraries. On October 21, Carnival Vista will sail on a special 13-day transatlantic voyage, arriving in New York on November 3, 2016, where she will operate a series of cruises. Carnival Vista’s European cruises are available for reservations.  Information on her New York departures will be available next month.  

    The Carnival Vista will be open for bookings on CruiseCompete later this week.

What Were The Best Cruise Trends of 2014? - Read David Molyneaux’s “Best Of” here.


 

CruiseCompete Cruise Predictions for 2015: GPS Tracking Watches for Children, Technology Soars and Vacation Rejuvenation Hits a New Level of Sophistication


CruiseCompete’s consumers are constantly telling us what they are experiencing and what they would like to see from the cruise industry. 

Here are 8 predictions that cruise lovers will appreciate:
  1. Cruising Becomes A Company Perk- Company paid cruise vacations will become a way to entice, and keep, a company’s best employees, by showing appreciation for someone’s work while rejuvenating them to peak performance. Cruise travel may become a health benefit for all employees, since stress reduction leads to better long-term good health and productivity.  The spas on board will continue to find new ways to rejuvenate the health and well-being of their guests, with yoga and meditation, diet and detox, plus exercise programs.
     
  2. GPS Tracking of Children While On Vacation- If you’ve ever lost a child in a crowd, even for a moment, you know how terrifying that can be. There’s a new solution hitting the market that is perfect for traveling families; parents who want to keep close tabs on their children will have the option this year to equip them with GPS. These handy new wristband GPS units are the most practical way be sure you know where your child is at all times, and give an added measure of security, whether you are onboard or on onshore for excursions.  These are great to have anytime and anywhere.

    You can see Verizon’s GPS here.
    FiLIP’s unit can be found here.  
    And herO is coming out with a brand new unit in April 2015.  You can preorder here.

     
  3. All-Inclusive Options Continue to Increase at a Rapid Pace.   In particular for the luxury and ultra-luxury sector. We just keep adding and adding included amenities to the most comprehensive chart detailing “what is included “on cruises.  In fact cruise lines have told us they use this chart frequently to see what their competition is adding to the cruise experience.   See the cruise line included amenities here: https://allthingscruise.com/all-inclusive/.
     
  4. Ultimate Luxury and Adventure - Cruise lines keep coming up with more over the top experiences- onboard and ashore- to entice people who crave the ultimate in luxury and new adventures.  And look for cruise lines to combine river cruises ocean cruises; they will deliver new and versatile cruise opportunities for those cruisers who want it all.  We’ll also see more "private" areas built into ships, so that celebrities and others seeking privacy can book areas that are private and where their children have dedicated pool, dining room, concierge and other amenities.
     
  5. Past Favorites Become New Again- The all-important Baby Boomer demographic will flourish as the cruise lines bring back favorites from the past.  Companies like Princess Cruises will continue to be a favorite for baby boomers seeking comfort from familiar experiences like the Love Boat.  Their advertising program, undoubtedly from research touts familiarity and “Come Back New” stresses to de-stress.
     
  6. Enhanced  Technology & Personalization That’s All About You -  Technology will become even more advanced in areas such as bars and restaurants, and ships will have in-room tablets to book future cruises while still on board. Luxury cruise lines will also keep an automated record of your preferences and build your mini bar/personal hygiene basket to taste before you arrive.
     
  7. Focus on the Family and Multigenerational travel - Family suites will offer on-demand nannies for the duration of a cruise, and lines will provide personal GPS tracking bracelets for children so parents and caregivers can locate them at any time.  The lines will also begin to design programs that appeal to multi-generational groups, where children, parents, and grandparents all play a part.
     
  8. Consumers Will Abandon the Web and Rely Travel Agents / Cruise Specialists- With brand new ships (there are 27 slated to debut in 2015 alone), countless exotic itineraries, and endless all-inclusive options, the cruise consumer will look to the experts for guidance when booking their cruise. Watch for a surge in bookings through agents, who are not only educated on the lines and ships, but have an inside line to the best deals the cruise lines have to offer. 
(We also made cruise industry predictions for 2014, with a very high level of accuracy.  Take a look at what we forecasted here: https://www.cruisecompete.com/pressrelease123013.php.)
 

More Information About the Lines:


Everything you need to know about the various cruise lines and their ships:
https://www.cruisecompete.com/lines/cruise_lines.html

Which lines are all-inclusive? What do the lines offer to keep your experience over the top?
https://allthingscruise.com/all-inclusive/


Cruise Specials by Price… Under $500 to Over $25,000. See them all here.

Cruise Specials by Region…Africa and Alaska to Transoceanic and World Cruises… And everywhere in between. See the cruise regions here.

Cruise Specials by Cruise Line… See offers from all the cruise lines here.

Cruise Specials by Category… Adventure, River, Honeymoon and more! See them here.

Cruise Specials by Length… 3 days, to 6 months or more. See all the options here.

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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