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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
June 18, 2014

Those Precious Bejeweled Fabergé Eggs, Cunard Line Adds More Solo Cabins. Princess Cruises Intimate Small Ships in Breathtaking Tahiti, World Voyages & Royal Caribbean International News! Plus, CruiseCompete Adds Two Fantastic Cruise Lines,  Blount Small Ship Adventures and Un-Cruise Adventures to our Website!

Attention world travelers: Princess Cruises has updates on their exotic destinations and sailings… 40 itineraries, to 140 destinations in 70 countries, on six continents. Worldwide destinations include Tahiti and the South Pacific, South America, Australia/New Zealand, Asia and Africa. Less visited ports can be experienced via the line’s small ships, or on a 111-day World Cruise sailing roundtrip from North America.  More…

Cruise Line of the Week: Royal Caribbean International - Royal Caribbean International boasts a fleet of the world's largest ships. Royal Caribbean ships are resort cities at sea, offering the best variety over the top experiences for the entire family. Whether you seek an adrenaline rush or total tranquility, their ships have it all. Try rock climbing, ice skating and surfing 200 feet above the waves. Melt away land-based stress with a spa massage, build a scrapbook of memories or simply relax poolside. Offering the ultimate in dining experiences and ambience, variety and the flexibility to decide when and what you savor. From casual to sophisticated, cupcakes to canapés, sample an array of options – many of them included in the price of your cruise. Pair meals with a beverage package and enjoy up to 25% savings on your favorite drinks.  Read more about the line here.

A Taste of our Super Cruise Specials – See These Hand Picked Specials Here:
$477       Sail to Alaska on the Crown Princess from $329!, Crown Princess
$360       7-NT Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas w/ On Board Credit, Royal Caribbean International - Western Caribbean
$476       Last Minute Promotion on NCL w/ On Board Credit, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Cruise Line - Alaska
$499       MSC Divina Shipboard Credit Promo, MSC Cruises - Bahamas
$3,049    Oceania Cruises - Exclusive Agency Promotion, Oceania Marina, North America
$2,750    7-NT Viking River w/ On Board Credit, Viking Freya, Viking River Cruises - Europe
$799      Alaska Balcony ($1,827.84 for 2) w/$175 onboard credit. $1049, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean
$999      Add $100 On Board Credit or free night of specialty dining for 2!, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Cruises - Mediterranean
$649      Bonus On Board Credit On Every 2014 Bermuda Sailing, Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Cruises -
$2,900   Experience France on a Uniworld River Cruise from $2900, River Baroness, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection 
See all Super Specials Here:
Specials from Norwegian Cruise Line

Hawaii Bundle Offer!
Norwegian Cruise Line Hawaii cruise package w/Air, hotel and specialty dining starting at $1,999 pp
Norwegians make a splash!
Book now and get up to $250 to spend on board & up to $1000 in air credits
Norwegians chase the Sun.
Idle like an islander. Cruise like a Norwegian. 7-day Caribbean Cruises starting at $399.
Extend your summer escape
What will you do with one free night? Find out with the Omni Summer Escapes package.
Car Rentals in America’s Hottest cities, Rates as Low as $7.11 a Day

Recognizing the increasing popularity of solo travel, Cunard Line is pleased to announce the addition of single staterooms on board Queen Elizabeth.  The eight outside and one inside staterooms are on sale now and available for booking beginning with the 16 December 2014 sailing (voyage number Q422).  The inclusion of single staterooms builds upon Cunard’s offerings that cater to this growing audience.  Across the Line’s fleet, passengers travelling on their own can look forward to special activities organized by the ships’ social hostesses, including a welcome reception on embarkation day, coffee and cookies every sea day morning, and specially organized meeting points and excursions on port days.  More…

Royal Caribbean, our cruise line of the week:

Our readers love Royal Caribbean. Read Royal Caribbean reviews here.

Voyages offered by Royal Caribbean can be found here

Amenities offered by Royal Caribbean are here.

View Royal Caribbean dining options here.  

Read Royal Caribbean alcohol beverage policies here.

Learn about Royal Caribbean weddings at sea or vow renewals at sea here.

Want to find out more about Royal Caribbean voyages or book one? Please visit CruiseCompete. 
Royal Caribbean has some fascinating shore excursions, too many to list … Just visit the Royal Caribbean shore excursions page here.

Exciting News!

In response to popular demand, CruiseCompete is proud to introduce two new expedition cruise lines: Blount Small Ship Adventures and Un-Cruise Adventures.
Blount Small Ship Adventures operates a fleet of 2 innovative expedition-style small ships that offer up to 96 guests unique experiences along some of North America’s most scenic waterways. Navigating areas usually only accessible by small private yacht, this destination-oriented travel experience allows guests to truly explore a destination.
Blount has two ships that accommodate 96 passengers each, the Grande Mariner and the Grande Caribe. Destinations include Caribbean & Central America, the Northeast, mid-America & the Great Lakes and Southern Charm. Blount Small Ship Adventures fare includes meals and passengers are able to bring their own wine.

Un-Cruise Adventures are unmatched, hands-on small boat explorations. With several styles to choose from: Active; Luxury; Heritage; and Charter Adventures, Un-Cruise’s eight ships offer  inviting alternative cruise adventures including kayaks and whales, snorkels and totems, mountains and desert, service and wine. Venture into some of nature’s most exciting playgrounds and historic ports for exploration, eye-to-eye wildlife encounters and living history in such destinations as Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia & Snake Rivers, Hawaiian Islands and Coastal Washington & British Columbia. Un-Cruise Adventures fare includes meals, wine, beer, spirits and many adventures. 

To read a recent blog about traveling on Un-Cruise Adventures, please click here.
Time-sensitive offers directly from the cruise lines, just for you! 

Azamara Club Cruises-Travelers enjoy complimentary companion airfare on more than 100 destination-immersive voyages with Azamara Club Cruises. For all new individual bookings and named group bookings made with full deposit from June 2 through July 31, 2014. For more information click here.

Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises has brought back their 123 Go promotion for a limited time. This offer expires July 31, 2014. For details click here.

Oceania Cruises: For a limited time Oceania Cruises is offering 2 for 1 cruise fares with free airfare on select Africa and Asia cruises, plus 50% off deposits on 2014 voyages. Fares are subject to increase on 9/3/2014. For more details and sailings click here.

Paul Gauguin Cruises: Paul Gauguin Cruises offers free Ambassadors of the Environment youth program on 2014 holiday voyages in French Polynesia-a $299 value per child. Book by July 31, 2014.  For details click here.

Royal Caribbean International: Set sail for savings with summer specials from Royal Caribbean-“Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off” offer on select sailings. Book by June 30, 2014. For more information click here.

Star Clippers: Reserve your Caribbean sailing with Star Clippers before September 4, 2014 you will receive onboard credit of $75 per person (Max $150 per cabin) on most sailings and free one-cabin category upgrade on select sailings. For more information click here.

Un-Cruise Adventures-Explore four islands by yacht on Hawai’i Adventure Cruise with Un-Cruise Adventures and save $600 per couple on Hawai’i cruise booked by July 31, 2014. For more information click here.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection Pay In Full Savings promotion expires June 30, 2014. For details click here.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises-Receive free economy air on select Fall 2014 departures. Good on select bookings in October and November 2014.  For details and sailings click here.

Windstar Cruises: For a limited time Windstar Cruises is offering 2 for 1 cruise fares for their Dreams of Tahiti cruise. Fares start at just $2,799 per person. Offer expires June 27, 2014. For more information click here

Items of Interest
Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, is poised to make a show-stopping debut in November 2014, with a lineup of entertainment offerings that push the envelope far beyond imagination. From stage shows that take guests on a highly visual and experiential journey of music, sound and performance, to a radically new form of multidimensional entertainment that seamlessly fuses technology with highly trained live performers, stunning visuals and special effects, Quantum of the Seas delivers an array of first of their kind productions and performances that will leave audiences spellbound.  More…

Another charitable act:  This past week, Princess Cruises presented a check to the American Heart Association (AHA) for $832,000.  These substantial funds were by a donation taken from each guest’s cruise fare, which the line then matched at 100 percent.  Kudos to the line on their ongoing efforts to support worthwhile causes; the line also raised $600,000 for veteran’s causes in November 2013 aboard the Caribbean Princess, and donations were made to Operation Homefront and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.  More…
Australian television personality Deborah Hutton christened Avalon Waterways’ newest river cruise ship – the Avalon Illumination – at a ceremony in Vienna.  Christened in classical Viennese style on the banks of the Danube, the Illumination is the third Suite Ship addition to Avalon’s European fleet this year.  “May all who sail on this splendid vessel enjoy their voyage and take home with them the joy and enrichment of a shared journey,” Deborah said as she launched the ship. “May she enjoy the warm and familiar welcome of the ports, towns and cities she visits along Europe’s greatest rivers.”  More…
  – a shore excursion unavailable on any other cruise line and only available to a limited number of Crystal guests.  Offered with four Crystal Symphony Northern Europe cruises in summer 2014, the new outing affords rare, exclusive access to areas of St. Petersburg’s Fabergé Museum that are not open to the public, including Romanov family exhibits, former aristocratic domiciles, and Brothers Karamazov art collections.  More…

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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

Shore Excursion, Questions, Answers and Ideas

How do I book shore excursions?

If you know which tours you want to take, you can reserve them directly through our web site by adding them to your shopping cart and checking out just like you would do with a typical online purchase. If you are uncertain which tours you would like to take or want some advice or guidance on your tours, we encourage you to contact one of our Shore Excursion Experts during our regular business hours of 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday - Friday Eastern Standard Time.

See more frequently asked CruiseCompete Shore Excursion questions here.

Shore Excursion of the Week:
Exclusive Monte Carlo, Eze and La Turbie
Departing from the cruise pier in Villefranche with your driver/guide and a group of no more than 8, you will drive to the hilltop medieval town of Eze which is approximately 30 minutes’ drive away. During the drive, your driver/guide will point out what you are seeing. A stop will be made to take photos of this charming village clinging to the Cliffside and its magnificent views overlooking the French Riviera. There will also be approximately 30 minutes for those brave enough to make the climb.

A stop will be made to visit the nearby perfume factory Fragonard which has been producing scents for more than 3 generations.

A scenic drive will be taken through the hillside village of La Turbie, with its Trophy of the Alps, and scenic landscape.

Then drive to the luxurious principality of Monaco where you will drive directly to the old town and enjoy an exterior visit to the royal Prince Palace before walking to the Cathedral where you will have an Interior visit.

You will then drive to the casino square where you will have a brief stop for photos of the exterior of the casino and time to view the gardens. This will be followed with a drive along a portion of the Monte Carlo Grand Prix circuit as you make your way back to the pier area.

Read more about this excursion by clicking 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.

Latest diaries of the AllThingsCruise writers

Jackie Finch explores the Columbia and Snake rivers with Un-Cruise Adventures. Follow her here.

Robert W. Bone is sailing from Quebec City to Boston on HAL's Veendam. Read his travel diary.

Julie Hatfield is doing an early sailing in the Mediterranean aboard the MSC Splendida.Follow her here.

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.

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

Great quote about travel

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ― Augustine of Hippo

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.
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