Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Monday, March 30, 2015
Carnival ended its hiatus in Baltimore and announced the return of year-round sailing out of the Maryland. The Carnival Pride will sail a variety of itineraries from the port. Most coverage focused on the renovations of the ship and its new environmental standards (which were a factor in the hiatus from coastal waters). However, the big picture news is really that Carnival is committed to year-round service in a northern drive market.
Having the renovated and updated Carnival Pride sail from Baltimore is a win-win for the company and passengers. Ten of millions of potential cruisers live within driving distance of Charm City. A driveable cruising option can save each passenger thousands in airfare. For Carnival, the upside of Baltimore is less local competition, the chance to introduce cruising to those who might not otherwise sail, and the opportunity to turn some of those airfare savings into onboard spending.
Given the history and reinvestment, there will probably be more sailings and other ships out of Baltimore. And with continued success, more out of other east coast ports (Philadelphia? expanded options from New York? More in Boston?). All of that is good news for people exploring new cruise options.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Friday night, the Food Network aired “Disney Dream Cruise with Food Network.” In the special (sponsored by Disney Cruise Line), Food Network stars Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, Amanda Freitag, and, Melissa d'Arabian, as well as their friends and families, sailed to the Bahamas aboard the Disney Dream. Being the Food Network, the special focused on dining, but also hit many of the highlights of the Disney offering. Based on our DCL experience, here are some of the things the special got right, some they got wrong and a few things we are surprised that weren’t featured.
What they got right
This was a food show, so they certainly showed off Disney’s great dining experiences. While the TV chefs toured the galleys and the storage facilities, the aspect that is relevant to a typical passenger was the rotational dining. DCL regulars know and love this feature -- where you rotate dining rooms with your wait staff -- while people who haven’t experienced it yet might not appreciate how well it works. Disney championed this experience in the industry and it highlights their service and unique experiences. It is the center of the dining experience and deserved its place on the special.
What they got wrong
The Food Network stars raved about the buffet service and food on Disney’s private island Castaway Cay. d'Arabian’s experience was very different from ours. We found the service, the crowd management, the taste and temperature of the food on Castaway Cay to be lacking -- well below Disney’s standards in their theme parks and certainly below the standards and food quality of the Disney Cruise Line’s food service on board. Obviously a Disney-sponsored special is not going to degrade their own quality or service, but be warned the meal at Castaway Cay was the worst meal of our DCL experience. Our recommendation is to enjoy the beach and water activities on the island but dine back on the ship.
What they left out
It wouldn’t be a DCL television special without the AquaDuck, but I really think the DCL does itself a bit of disservice by always featuring this one ride on every TV opportunity. The AquaDuck is great and fun, but is it that much better than many of the water and thrill experiences available on most cruise companies newer ships? Why not use some of the special time to highlight the Disney shows (which are outstanding) or some of the other unique to Disney offerings. Based on the lines alone, we would suspect that the character and princess interactions are more popular than the AquaDuck. Maybe DCL assumes people know the characters are on board or maybe that the characters only appeal to their youngest customers. However, there are other sports, entertainment and social offerings beyond the AquaDuck that might attract older kids, teens and cruise fans of all ages. Valuable TV time should highlight those attractions instead of the upteenth ride on a water slide.
"Disney Dream Cruise with the Food Network" airs again April 4. (Being the Food Network, the special will likely air again and again in the coming months.) If you’re a Disney fan, a DCL fan or just someone who likes cruise specials, the hour is well worth your time...as is a cruise on the Disney Dream.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
A few years ago, Royal Caribbean brought in experts in industrial productivity, including DHL and the German carmaker Porsche, to help manage complex flows on the ship. As an example, the efficiency experts helped determine where to locate waiter stations in the main dining room to reduce the number of footsteps needed to serve hundreds of diners simultaneously.
Read the whole article to learn more about how each new generation of ship creates a new set of logistical challenges for the cruise lines.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Here are 7 easy ways to make everyone on your #cruise ship hate you http://t.co/F298VJuXcF @sherrinyc pic.twitter.com/8utmze9W31
— Yahoo Travel (@YahooTravel) March 25, 2015
Don't end your #cruise day ashore this way, or worse! - http://t.co/beYu4GZREM pic.twitter.com/mKMpQXhcwP
— Med Cruise Advice (@MedCruiser1) March 26, 2015
Le Boreal arriving in #London May 19 2014 http://t.co/r7hBqJc2FF #TowerBridge #LuxuryCruise #CruiseChat #Cruise #Travel #England
— The Cruise Line (@CruiseLineUK) March 24, 2015
Smart move by Carnival Corp in placing orders for 9 new cruise ships. By keeping yards busy they make it difficult for rivals to build
— John Honeywell (@CaptGreybeard) March 26, 2015
Wow! @CarnivalPLC places massive shipbuilding order for nine #cruise ships over a four-year period. http://t.co/Iksc5gpDLF
— Theresa Norton Masek (@cruiseapalooza) March 26, 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Cruise reviews are a critical resources as you plan and book your next cruise. However, sifting through the thousands of online reviews can be daunting. How do you find useful tips and get the general consensus on a ship without getting bogged down in the minutia of what one reviewer had at the lunch buffet on the second to last day of their cruise?
Of the many options, we find Cruiseline.com's reviews to provide the right mix of detail and overview. Most of their reviewers are thorough and informative. Yet, you can also just breeze through the summations to get high points, a quick star rating and glimpses into specific aspects of the ship.
Use the reviews of the Carnival Breeze as a example. Cruiseline.com currently has 444 verified reviews and of those reviews, the average rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars. For perspective that rating is above most other Carnival ships. The reviews also tend to emphasize the cleanliness and newness of the ship. To learn more about the Carnival Breeze or other potential cruise options check out other reviews on Cruiseline.com
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
A photo posted by Robert Edwards (@mister_edwards) on
Someone surfing on the FlowRider at sunset on the Liberty of the Seas in Caribbean. #libertyoftheseas #rccl #royalwow #royalcaribbean #caribbean #surfing #sunset #flowrider #cruise #cruising #cruisefever #cruiseaddict #instacruise #instatravel #travelgram #travelphoto #traveladdict #traveltheworld #photooftheday #nofilter #kreuzfahrt #perfectday #active #bucketlist
A photo posted by Frode (@frodeaam1971) on
Almost Home #instaphoto #instaplace #iamcarnival #instafriend #instamoment #carnival #carnivalbreeze #carnivalcruise #carnivalcruiselines #caribe #cruise #cruising #cruisecarnival #photooftheday #picoftheday #officer #navigator #italian #carloforte #sardinia #follow #followme #GoForIt
A photo posted by Giovanni Segni (@captainjohnny86) on
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
For curious cruise lovers, the best part of the ongoing lawsuit between Virgin Cruises and former Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Colin Veitch is learning about all the details of the new cruise line. The above picture (via Cruise Hive) offers a glimpse into the new look and sheer size of Richard Branson's latest venture. The ships would be some of the largest at sea and hold over 4,000 passengers.
Regardless of the suit, Virgin Cruises is still going forward and should be sailing in the near future.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Sunday, March 22, 2015
It is against Facebook’s TOS [eds. note: Terms of Service] to run a contest where the winner is awarded by liking, sharing, or commenting on a post. Also if you do have a contest, you can not contact the winner through Facebook. If you ever see any contests that violate these rules, you will know they are scams. (Unless the owners of the page do not know about Facebook’s TOS)
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Mega-cruise ships look like small cities from the air http://t.co/T8YXPtv7CR pic.twitter.com/yVd4ZNN7yR
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) March 19, 2015
Secrets of a cruise ship captain. http://t.co/XVm3IRxwvd pic.twitter.com/XiDuJGaGmJ
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 18, 2015
Sure, you can hear the ocean in a seashell, but on a Carnival Cruise you can hear, you know…the actual ocean.
— Carnival Cruise Line (@CarnivalCruise) March 16, 2015
Adam Goldstein of @RoyalCaribbean to #CSM2015 audience: Every one of you would be better off if you were on a #cruise right now. We agree!
— Cruise Critic (@CruiseCritic) March 17, 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
“The safety of guests and crew members is Costa’s top priority. After what happened in Tunis on Wednesday, Costa Crociere is confirming that all upcoming calls in Tunis for the cruises of Costa Fortuna, Costa Favolosa, Costa neoRiviera will be substituted with alternative calls,” the company said.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
A photo posted by Cruise Fanatic!!!⚓️⚓️⚓️ (@hd_cruise_photos) on
A photo posted by Laure 👑 (@laure_fo) on
Cayman Islands yesterday #ig_caribbean_sea #loves_caribbeansea #Caribbean #serenadeoftheseas #royalcaribbean #vacation #nevercomingback #lovethisplace #beauty #ic_water #water_perfection #iphone #water_captures #cruiseship #cruise #amazing #holiday #earth_shotz #earthboundshots #splendid_earth #shareYourParadise
A photo posted by @_troberts_ on
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The ship can accommodate up to 3,840 passengers and will have all the mega-ship offerings you'd expect. Plus it will have the first ice skating rink in Alaskan waters.
The USA Today feature also includes a slide show tour of similar Royal Caribbean Voyager class ships.
Monday, March 16, 2015
While many Cruise lines have permanent passengers, Carnival cannot recall another couple that have taken so many separate trips on one of their ships.